Review: The One-Straw Revolution

The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka My rating: 4 of 5 stars One-Straw Revolution is not by any means a gardening book. If you are looking for advice, planting guides, charts, etc, this is not the book for you. I’ve heard the book described as “Zen and the Art of Farming” and that comes closer […]

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eBooks Killed the the Readeo Star

Confession: I don’t read novels anymore. Truth be told, I don’t read any big books anymore. I don’t read ’em on a screen or as a print book. My interaction with words has been reduced to quick articles and short pieces on the interweb. I am sometimes inclined to read more in-depth pieces of the […]

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Where I’m Living Now

In 1995 I was entering my last year of college in the small town of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and for the first time in my life, I moved into a full-fledged home. Prior to that I had been living in the dormitory. Arkadelphia is timber country. The Ouachita ‘mountains’ are to west, the Ouachita river borders […]

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From Gao XingJian’s Parisian Notes

Gao XingJian

Gao XingJian (高行健) is a Chinese playwright, literary translator, screenwriter, director, painter and novelist. In 2000 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first native born Chinese to win the prize (Pearl S. Buck doesn’t count).

Gao is an eccentric motherfucker, and I love him for that. I dig his paintings (google ’em), but his writing sometimes gets on my nerves, especially when veers into an affected avant-garde ‘tude, a turtle-neck-wearing ‘let’s drip words like paint and call it art’ sort of stance. I don’t much like that.

But he’s suffered for his art. Taken the censorship beatdown when he lived in China. His is now officially a French resident and resides in gay Paris. His collection of non-fiction essays Cold Literature contains many of Gao’s thoughts on writing, politics, fame, and art. Gao walks the line between the artist as sage-like outsider and the artist as engaged activist, and I think he gets the balance correct.

This is a section from the essay “Parisian Notes.”

Here's a thing to listen to!

Rock it out  

The Pale King

Cleaning up the draft pile, here’s an unfinished review of Wallace’s The Pale King. I wrote this nearly three years ago. I throw it out into the blog ether just for the helluvit. It’s coming up on six months since the release of David Foster Wallace’s posthumous tome The Pale King, and I have yet […]

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Conscientious Objector

In the summer of ’96 I rambled about the middle states in a red Sentra dubbed the Smoking Section. The SS had a tape deck, and I had three cassette tapes: an audio book of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, an early recording of folk stylist Paul Gubbins, and a rare recording of John Allen Adams reading his poetry.

Adams was the quadriplegic proprietor of Adams Book Store in Arkadelphia. He died before I had a chance to meet him, but his lovely and eccentric wife Joy gave me the cassette. She also gave me a copy of his book I Walk Toward The Sound of My Days.

I have since lost the cassette.

Here I recreate a portion:

Here's a thing to listen to!

Rock it out