444 Chapters
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Medium 9780253356864

13. Full of Hope

Robert B. Ray Indiana University Press ePub

In “Spring,” Walden’s penultimate chapter, Thoreau describes his sudden awareness that winter was finally over:

The change from storm and winter to serene and mild weather, from dark and sluggish hours to bright and elastic ones, is a memorable crisis which all things proclaim. It is seemingly instantaneous at last. Suddenly an influx of light filled my house, though the evening was at hand, and the clouds of winter still overhung it, and the eaves were dripping with sleety rain. I looked out the window, and lo! where yesterday was cold gray ice there lay the transparent pond already calm and full of hope as on a summer evening. (209)

We can imagine this moment as a film scene, with Thoreau at his window and a point-of-view shot revealing what he sees. The Walden passage provides the visual details: the abrupt “influx of light,” the overhanging clouds and still-dripping eaves, the pond liberated from its ice. But how does a writer show us that something is “full of hope”?

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Medium 9780892727605

Once More to the Lake

Down East Books ePub

E. B. White

O ne summer, along about 1904, my father rented a camp on a lake in Maine and took us all there for the month of August. We all got ringworm from some kittens and had to rub Pond

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Medium 9781771870801

BELOW MCINTYRE BLUFF

Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
The harshness of the seasons on the Gulf Islands and the cruel wonders of nature are the subjects of “Below McIntyre Bluff: Notes From a Year” by Terry Glavin. Vivid images of the migratory patterns of Okanagan salmon, new species choking out the old, and men driven mad by winter’s cold grasp paint a portrait of the British Columbian landscape as one of the few places on earth that remains an untamed wilderness.
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Medium 9781743603604

A Walk on Thin Ice

Berendt, John Lonely Planet Publications ePub

It was in the summer of 1965 when I saw my first ice floe. When our ship scraped past my first iceberg, when I glimpsed my first Arctic hare, met my first Eskimo, ate my first seal. It was the summer of ’65 when I snacked on my first little auk, roasted my first musk ox and – I promise an explanation is to follow for this – when I shot my first polar bear.

And when matters got so dangerously out of hand, it was also the year when I underwent the first major crisis of my life, and had my first brush with the possibility of an extremely chilly death.

Yes, indeed, my twenty-first year – for I was born in September, 1944 – was the time of the loss of all kinds of personal innocence. Not a loss in terms of sex, nor of the consumption of drink or drugs or the understanding of the baser arts of card playing – all of these had already diminished me when I was nineteen, and had lived briefly in Oklahoma, where all manner of amusing and innocence-robbing wickedness befell me.

No, it was in 1965, when things went so badly and dramatically wrong, that I was made fully aware of something of which I had been quite innocent all of the two decades prior: I came suddenly to know the awe-inspiring power of Nature, and most especially, the power of bitter, bitter cold. This is what happened, to the best of my recollection, fifty years ago.

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Medium 9781771870825

How Do We Know Beauty When We See It: Twenty Meditations On Stones

Virgo, Seán Thistledown Press ePub

HOW DO WE KNOW BEAUTY WHEN WE SEE IT:
TWENTY MEDITATIONS ON STONES

Susan Musgrave

1. Touchstones

I have never worn precious stones — diamonds in my earlobes, square-cut emeralds on my fingers or sapphires blue as the unappeasable sky. For me, jewels, in their flashiness, are places lonelier than darkness. A beach pebble unadorned, a river rock licked into an egg — the wild, tumbling-free stones — are the ones most precious to me. Stones pulled by tides, polished by the moon; stones like thoughts dealt from the dark, wise stones etched with the faces of burrowing owls; all-seeing stones, alone-stones, holy stones.

There are stones that are markers in my life: touchstones that link me to a place and a time. The green cameo stone from Point-No-Point my lover made into a brooch; the sea-witch’s stone, my amulet, from Long Beach on Vancouver Island that I have carried with me since 1969, when it washed up at my feet. The first flowerstone I found on the beach at Metchosin. The chunk of green Connemara marble with a snake slithering through its centre, the agate from Rose Spit with a map of Haida Gwaii indented in it, the river-polished stones from Lawn Creek, copper and bronzed by water falling on cedar, stones that bear the fossilized imprints: a drowned woman’s hair, a Mayan warrior’s profile. Stones I keep in my pockets for the noise they make rubbing against each other when I have travelled too far away from the sea and can no longer hear its sound. The susurrus of the waves pulling the small stones back into the deep.

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Medium 9781847778772

An Englishman Looks at the World

Ford, Ford Madox Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

From the second of Ford’s two propaganda books, Between St Denis and St George: A Sketch of Three Civilisations (Hodder and Stoughton, 1915), Part II, chapters 1 and 2. Ford’s heading echoes H.G. Wells’s 1914 book of the same title.

Let us attempt to recapture, in as precise a phraseology as we may, what was the British psychology immediately prior to the outbreak of the present war, and what was the state of affairs in England then. So remote does that period seem that the task is one of some difficulty, and the field is singularly open to those who are anxious to prove that Great Britain at that date was a militarist menace to the rest of Europe. So absolutely are our minds now fixed upon the affairs of the present, so bellicose in consequence has every proper man become, that, if Mr Bernard Shaw or Herr Dernburg choose to assert that before July 1914 every Englishman was a raging fire-eater, there are few of us with our minds sufficiently concentrated upon the immediate past to be able to question, much less to confute, those generalisations. And that is partly a matter of shame. Because the necessities of the day are so essentially martial we are ashamed to think that we were ever pacifist; because Germany – the German peoples as well as the Prussian State – have now put into practice precepts which they have been enjoining for the last century and a decade, I am ashamed to think that less than a year ago I had, for the German peoples, if not for the Prussian State, a considerable affection and some esteem. By a coincidence, then, which I must regard as the most curious of my life – though, indeed, in these kaleidoscopic days something similar may well have been the fate of many inhabitants of these islands – in the middle of July, 1914, I was in Berwickshire engaged in nothing less than tentative machinations against the seat in Parliament of – Sir Edward Grey! In the retrospect this may well appear to have been a fantastic occupation, but how fantastic do not all our occupations of those days now appear! On the morning of July 20th, 1914, I stood upon the platform of Berwick-on-Tweed station reading the London papers. The London papers were exceedingly excited, and I cannot say that I myself was other than pessimistic – as to the imbecility of human nature, and, more particularly, as to the imbecility of the Liberal Party, and, more particularly again, as to that of the editors of the — and the —, which are Liberal party organs. These organs at that date were, in veiled language, calling for the abdication of the King of England. That, again, sounds fantastic. But there it is; the files of the newspapers are there to testify to it.

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Medium 9781847778772

The Trail of the Barbarians

Ford, Ford Madox Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

When Ford was back in England in 1917 he resumed his work, translating Pierre Loti’s pamphlet, L’Outrage des barbares (Paris, 1917). His ‘Translator’s Note’ to The Trail of the Barbarians (London, [1918]) is printed here. Like Henry James, Ford was a great admirer of Loti’s style, so the work represents an act of literary as well as political propaganda. It can also be seen expressing his belief in the regenerative power of the countryside, and influencing his later praise of French landscape and culture.

It has been my ambition, for more years than I can remember, to devote the closing stage of my life to rendering into English some masterpiece of a French stylist. Well, here is the rendering of the masterpiece of a French stylist; and Fate wills it that it has been performed between parades, orderly rooms, strafes, and the rest of the preoccupations that re-fit us for France … so it is not a good rendering. You need from 11.45 pip emma of 8/8/17 to 11.57 pip emma of 9/8/17 for the rendering of almost any French sentence!…

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Medium 9781771870849

The Salvation of Harvey Nicotine

Ratzlaff, Lloyd Thistledown Press ePub

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HARVEY NICOTINE WAS IN TROUBLE because he didn’t want to attend Mass. The vice-principal had heard him out and said he’d be allowed to skip this time, but would have to undergo counselling for his problem, and would be expected at Mass next time, as usual.

Harvey came to my office and repeated his story. A terrible thing had happened at his reserve during the summer holidays, just shortly after his fourteenth birthday. He’d been out riding his bicycle near a large pasture, when he saw two men in a far corner standing over the carcass of a cow. It made him curious, and he left his bike in the ditch and headed over to see what had happened. But as he arrived, the men whirled around, and he saw inverted crosses on their foreheads and cultish emblems on their clothes. He was terrified — he knew they had just sacrificed this animal and he’d caught them by surprise; and they seized him and threw him headlong onto the body, and as he fell, he passed out.

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Medium 9781743603604

The First Time I Had So Many First Times

Berendt, John Lonely Planet Publications ePub

The beauty of any first time is that it leads to a thousand others: The first glance eases one towards the first meeting, and then, perhaps, the first kiss and the first love and so much else (the first divorce?). Every ‘first time’ opens a door upon a long corridor, down which you walk with the sensation, from experience now, that any other door might fly open at any moment, leading onto another corridor.

The first time I truly got to savor the world was when I was seventeen and, suddenly, almost free from high school, I began to put the different parts of my inheritance, as someone always a little bit abroad – a confirmed traveler for life – together. In the summer of 1974, my parents decided I should spend three months traveling around India, getting to know the cousins and uncles and grandparents, the ancestry, that I’d never had a chance to encounter before (except briefly, at the age of two).

I was as thrilled with the decision as any seventeen-year-old would be, and approached the trip with the sullen resignation of a prisoner dragged towards his last meal. But as the years went on, I began to realize how much that initial encounter with the world in all its chaos had formed me: The first time I’d tried to compose a love song on a guitar; the first time I’d ridden a train for two days and two nights; the first time I’d read the complete plays of Shakespeare – in a drafty library room in Elphinstone College in Bombay, birds flapping amidst the rafters; the first time I was lucky enough to visit the Dalai Lama in his home in Dharamsala. After that summer sojourn, suitcase heavy with barely readable books on Jung, hair falling down to my shoulders, worn cassette of Songs by Leonard Cohen clattering around in my guitar case, I returned to my school in rainy England for a final autumn to prepare for university examinations. That was the first time a teacher had us read Joni Mitchell next to ‘The Eve of St. Agnes,’ and the first time I was old enough to realize I was taking leave of a certain kind of innocence.

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Medium 9781574416367

Dangerous Minds/Insane System

Gayle Reaves, Editor UNT Press ePub
Medium 9780253019059

Writers & Artists

Edited and with an Introduction by Owen Indiana University Press ePub

Portrait of a WPA painter: Ernie meets a young Indiana giant at
Provincetown who finds life luxurious at $17.40 per week

PROVINCETOWN, Mass.—When I said to a friend up here that I’d like to pick out one artist and write about him as representative of the Provincetown art colony, my friend said:

“Well, we have two kinds here, you know. The ones who let their hair grow and never take a bath and do all the tricks. And then we have the serious kind.

“Everybody writes about the freaks. Why don’t you write about George Yater? He’s serious, and he’s one of the most up-and-coming of the younger group.”

So we went over to see George Yater. And what do you suppose he turned out to be? Just another boy from Indiana. I’ll bet if you invented a rocket and went to Mars, you’d find some small-town Hoosier sitting there.

George is 27.1 He has lived here for six years. He’s 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 225 pounds, and looks exactly like the hefty farm boys who go out in the fall and do or die for dear old Purdue. Except George never has.

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Medium 9781771870825

Cocks

Virgo, Seán Thistledown Press ePub

COCKS

Prudence Grieve
i.m. A.R.

THE OLD HOUSE WAS OUT AT ALL ANGLES. It was wild.

If you dropped a pencil, it would roll off in any of three directions till it reached a wall or sneaked out under a door to the hall or the landing.

The floors had been tilting for years, I suppose. The tops of the doors had been shaved to keep pace with their lintels, and when you lay on the living-room couch the conflicting angles ganged up on you. The door frames and panels and baseboards, all askew with the windows and quarreling with each other, till you had to close your eyes or go funnelling down the rabbit hole.

But the house took us in. With its comfortable ghosts, and its old brick Ontario architecture. With its smell, once we’d exorcised the last tenants. With the nighttime chorus of creaks and retorts as it settled to sleep around us.

The huge old kitchen too, the pressed-tin ceiling and the McLaren wood cookstove beside the electric appliances. Where the sun came in in the morning, and where we ate and talked together. Whenever I was alone there I found myself singing.

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Medium 9780253220042

3. The Hand of Fatima

Elsa Marston Indiana University Press ePub

A STORY FROM LEBANON

 

Aneesi paused outside the dining room. She had spent the long, hot summer morning helping Sitt Zeina prepare a lavish lunch, had waited on the guests without a single slip, and had just finished clearing the dessert dishes. She was tired and hungry, and her plastic sandals chafed from so much running back and forth. All she wanted right now was to sit down in the kitchen and enjoy the leftovers.

But something had caught her attention. Holding the silver serving plates still half full of pastries, she lingered in the hallway to listen.

Sitt Zeina was telling her husband, in no uncertain terms, “We must have that garden wall repaired, Yusuf. You know, where the old fig tree is pushing it over. You’ve put it off long enough, and costs are going up every day. Besides, there’s a lot more we should do with the garden.”

Before Dr. Jubeili could answer, one of the guests broke in with a laugh. “What are you thinking of, Zeina? Big ideas for the Jubeili estate?”

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Medium 9780253020659

Conclusion: “White Sea of the Middle” or “Wide Sea to Meddle In”?

Hakim Abderrezak Indiana University Press ePub

The works discussed in Ex-Centric Migrations provide a vision not solely of the other but of the other continent as well. Maghrebi works that treat the notion of clandestinity have presented the European Eldorado in its declination from “a country of light” to a land of disillusionment. It is the latter vision that has been the focus of the contemporary cinematic, literary, and musical productions examined here. In response to the old notion of Eldorado (the French one), which bred mythical stories that emigrants brought with them on their short visits back home, artists have crafted a “new” Eldorado—the Maghreb. The latter construction is a core theme in music such as Raï n’b and in films such as Bensalah’s Il était une fois dans l’oued. This conception of the “new Eldorado” tackled explicitly via musical and cinematic representations is an original one, which lies in sharp contrast to the portrayal of the global South as a place that individuals desire to leave.

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Medium 9781847778772

‘Fun! – It’s Heaven’

Ford, Ford Madox Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

The room was lit by a skylight from above, so that it resembled a tank in which dim fishes swim listlessly. The walls were of varnished grey paint; an immense and lamenting Christ hung upon a cross above the empty grate; a mildewed portrait of the last Pope but one made a grim spot of white near the varnished door. On a deal chair beside the deal table the old doctor sat talking to the very old lay sister who stood before him, twisting her gnarled fingers in her wooden beads.

‘Whatever it is,’ he said, and he waved his hand round to indicate the grim room. ‘This isn’t my idea of it. That is what I told the child.’

‘There need be no limits to one’s idea of it,’ the lay sister said. ‘What was it you told the poor child? I have not, you must remember, heard anything at all,’ she added. ‘Dicky Trout, I suppose, is killed. And he was to have married her? He was a dear young boy.’

‘He had been just ninety minutes in the trenches. And shot through the head! Ninety minutes! And dead! It’s what they call rotten luck. They were both my godchildren.’ He said the words with a certain fierceness of resentment.

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