Blog Profile / Literary Kicks


URL :http://www.litkicks.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:551
Posts / Week:1.5
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

First There Is A Mountain

When I'm feeling stressed out, I head for nature. I found myself driving to Old Rag Mountain in Virginia's Shenandoah range this weekend. I've done a few amazing hikes in this region: Mary's Rock, Catoctin, Hawksbill, Big Schloss, sometimes with others and sometimes alone. Show More Summary

Appomattox: How a War Ends

On the morning of April 9, 1865, one hundred and fifty years ago, the main Confederate army attempted a last desperate escape from its encirclement southwest of Richmond, Virginia. The attempt was over by the break of dawn, and General Robert E. Show More Summary

Sixteen Songs About a Ship of Fools

A few days ago I began exploring how writers from Plato to Sebastian Brant to Katherine Anne Porter have used the metaphor of a "ship of fools". This was inspired by my discovery that sixteen different songs called "Ship of Fools" have...Show More Summary

Ship of Fools, the Enduring Metaphor

I stumbled upon our society's most fascinating enduring metaphor by coincidence. Clicking around on iTunes, I suddenly noticed that I owned six different songs called "Ship of Fools". But these weren't six different versions of a song. Show More Summary

Pacifism Weekend: Why The Iran Deal Is Very Good News

If you've heard any recent news coverage about the peace agreement between Iran, USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China that will hopefully move forward this week, there's a good chance this is because the opposition in USA has been so noisy. Show More Summary

Nicholson Baker and Him: A Talk with J. C. Hallman

"Do we really want writers to be okay? Just okay?" That intriguing response is one of many I elicited from J. C. Hallman, author of B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal, a bright, funny and expansive account of a rewarding and investigative personal journey through another living writer's unusual career. This other writer is Nicholson Baker,...

From Contradiction to Cartoon: Reflections of Napoleon Bonaparte

In about four months we're going to hear a few news blips about the 200th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte's final defeat at Waterloo, which went down on June 18, 1815. It's a good guess that the tone of these news blips will be apathetic...Show More Summary

Kathy Acker: Dead Doll Humility

GET RID OF MEANING. YOUR MIND IS A NIGHTMARE THAT HAS BEEN EATING YOU: NOW EAT YOUR MIND. I saw Kathy Acker's name fly by in a tweet yesterday. Her name carries power for those who remember it. Alternative and transgressive literature...Show More Summary

Geek Sublime by Vikram Chandra

Twenty-five centuries ago, a Hindu scholar named Panini produced an analysis of the Sanskrit language so remarkable that later language theorists such as Ferdinand de Saussure would eventually cite it as the foundation of linguistics itself. Panini shows up in Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty, a new book by novelist and computer...

Daevid Allen of Gong

Daevid Allen, a brilliant songwriter and archetypal hippie prog-rocker who co-founded Soft Machine in 1966 before reaching his peak as the mad visionary genius of Gong, has announced that he is dying of cancer and has six months to live. I...Show More Summary

From the Tao Te Ching

There are some days when only a very old poem will do. Sometimes a 2600-year-old poem. Here are a few selections from the Tao Te Ching, apropos of a hard day at work. -- Levi Chapter 43 The softest things of the world Override the hardest...Show More Summary

"I'll Meet You Under The Words": Language Matters with Bob Holman

"I'll meet you under the words". There's a large building in Cardiff, Wales with a poem embedded directly into its front wall. The poem is written half in Welsh and half in English by Gwyneth Lewis, who is part of a vibrant Welsh-speaking...Show More Summary

Timothy Spall as J. M. W. Turner as Mike Leigh

As Mike Leigh's majestic new movie Mr. Turner begins, the famous British artist J. M. W. Turner's father buys pigments for his son in a dusty London shop. The vast arrays of psychedelic glass jars filled with powders of viridian, chrome, cobalt, barium and ultramarine seem as magical as Diagon Alley in Harry Potter or the Cheese Shop in Monty Python. Show More Summary

Where I'm Going Next

"What’s your road, man? — holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow..." -- Kerouac If you've hung around Literary Kicks for a while (and, yes, it certainly has been a while), you know this website is always in the process of becoming something else. Show More Summary

Peace Moves Fast

"Atheists are as dull," the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning once wrote, "who cannot guess God's presence out of sight." I don't know if atheists are dull or not, but lately I've been feeling the incredible dullness of political pundits...Show More Summary

Torture and the Herd Mind

The horrifying report of the US Senate investigation into CIA torture during the Iraq War was released to the public this week, revealing depths of sadism and cruelty that nearly everybody but Dick Cheney considers un-American. WhenShow More Summary

What Can A Pacifist Say About Racism?

What can a pacifist say about racism? A lot, it turns out. The pacifist perspective is badly needed when rage abounds, as it does right now following the decisions by grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City not to indict...Show More Summary

When Bob Dylan Rambles Into Town

A strange kind of anxiety can occur when attending a concert by an artist like Bob Dylan. I was struck by a sense of this anxiety as I stepped into Constitution Hall in Washington DC last night. I began to worry that it would impact my enjoyment of the show. This can happen. Show More Summary

New Short Story Collections: Justin Taylor, Paula Bomer and Hilary Mantel

I used to read short stories all the time. At one point, I was more into short stories than novels. Well, why not? This was back when Raymond Carver, Ann Beattie, Tama Janowitz, Lorrie Moore, John Updike, Cynthia Ozick, Alice Munro and William Trevor were all putting out stuff on a regular basis. Show More Summary

The Empty Space Where A Peace Movement Should Be

Exactly one hundred years ago today, there was still some hope that the monstrous war that had just broken out between (in quick succession) Serbia, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain and Turkey might be over by Christmas. Show More Summary

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