John Melillo and I analyze a distorted recording of Wallace Stevens's "Ordinary Evening in New Haven" for Harvard University's Woodberry Poetry Room blog.http://woodberrypoetryroom.com/?p=2268
This episode of Jason Boog's Sad Men Podcast explores LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN, a Depression-era book by the great James Agee. In it, Giller Prize-winning author Johanna Skibsrud explains how Agee's work influenced her novel, QUARTET FOR THE END OF TIME.
Music and books are usually parallel styles of expression, not often combined. Author Johanna Skibsrud knew that challenges awaited when she decided to use French composer Olivier Messiean's Quartet for the End of Time as the basis for a novel.
The original music was written on scraps of paper in 1941, while Messiaen was being held in a German prisoner-of-war camp. Its debut performance was held in the camp's yard, in the rain, for an assembly of prisoners and guards.
Skibsrud embraced the music's tragic origins, but decided there was another story she wanted to tell...
It is "exhilarating to join a novelist working at these bracing heights, where no abstraction — not God, not time, not death, not art, not the meaning of life — is out of bounds, yet where all philosophical searching is rooted in human experience, whether sickening or sublime, and rendered with clarity and sympathy."
As Arthur Miller’s 1947 play All My Sons opens, the Second World War has just ended and Joe Keller has been acquitted of the crime of knowingly shipping faulty airplane parts to American pilots overseas. Joe’s younger son, Chris, has returned safely from the war, but his elder son, Larry (a pilot) has not. With the exception of Keller’s wife, Kate, the characters are attempting to leave the past quietly behind.