Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mendelsohn Cavafy tweet

This afternoon's "afternoon poem" is this masterwork of 1930 by Cavafy:

   The Mirror in the Entrance

In the entrance hallway of that sumptuous home
there was an enormous mirror, very old;
acquired at least eighty years ago.

A strikingly beautiful boy, a tailor's assistant,
(on Sunday afternoons, an amateur athlete),
was standing with a package. He handed it
to one of the household, who then went back inside
to fetch a receipt. The tailor's assistant
remained alone, and waited.
He drew near the mirror, and stood gazing at himself,
and straightening his tie. Five minutes later
they brought him the receipt. He took it and left.

But the ancient mirror, which had seen and seen again,
throughout its lifetime of so many years,
thousands of objects and faces—
but the ancient mirror now became elated,
inflated with pride, because it had received upon itself
perfect beauty, for a few minutes.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Allan Gurganus coming to Arlington Nov. 7

He'll be at the Arlington Central Library to discuss "Lost Souls", a trio of linked novellas.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gay Bars …

—Steven Fry on

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In anticipation

In anticipation of next month's read, Allan Gurganus: How I Write.

"Read your work aloud daily. Read it once a week to your friends. Provide the wine yourself."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cavafy Sesquicentennial Celebration

Writers, actors, performers, translators and artists —

André Aciman, Michael Cunningham, Mark Doty, Olympia Dukakis, Craig Dykers, Edmund Keeley, Daniel Mendelsohn, Orhan Pamuk, Dimitris Papaioannou, and Kathleen Turner

— gather at the PEN American Center next month to bring to life one of the most original and influential Greek poets (and the only one we've ever read), Constantine P. Cavafy!

Thematic Body Parts

Still thinking back on Spanbauer's rollicking tale, I'm wondering if I overlooked a theme running through the book focused on a certain body part?

Toward the end we have severed arms, legs, and blind(-ish) eyes. We've got man-parts and lady-parts throughout the book, though handled so casually they seem disposable. Was anyone decapitated? Did Dellwood remain whole in the end?

Shed is clearly on a quest to find a family, where he came from, and where he belongs, but I never picked up on a quest to find a brain or a heart. Did anyone else?