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Lost & Found: Cassandra Cleghorn on Kenneth Patchen’s Jazz Collaborations

“The Murder of Two Men by a Young Kid Wearing Lemon-colored Gloves” is to my mind one of the few instances of music and poetry perfectly integrated—by which I mean that in this piece, poem and music are maximally in contact, both with and against one another. This collaboration between Patchen and composer and band leader Allyn Ferguson is a revelation, anticipating Robert Creeley’s interplay with bassist Steve Swallow almost 50 years later. But where Creeley’s pre-recorded poems were digitally retrofitted into Swallow’s soundtrack, Patchen performed his poems live and in the studio with horns blazing. Listening to this deep cut is for me a continuous shock and thrill–a reminder of what’s possible when poets close their eyes and keep their ears wide open.

Posted in Essays, General, Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Shane Danaher on Sterling Hayden

He starred in more lousy movies; he married and divorced; he fought with his wife for custody of their children. He drank. By 1959 he had had enough. With a schooner purchased on loan from Paramount, and a tenuous legal claim to his four, elementary-school aged progeny, he set sail for Tahiti.

Posted in General, Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Robert Anthony Siegel on Yasunari Kawabata

But then again, don’t we ask for doomed and hopeless things from books all the time? Looking at my notes, I feel that incredible emotional hunger come back to me, and I realize that Japan showed me what books are truly for: they are laboratories for our contradictory desires.

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Gabrielle Gantz on Tove Jansson

The funny thing about Jansson’s books is that while they contain a darkness, the prose is light and spacious. Emotionally, philosophically, the words have weight, but they flow through your mind with ease.

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Steve Almond on Per Olov Enquist

On April 5, 1768, Johann Friedrich Struensee was appointed Royal Physician to King Christian VII of Denmark, and four years later he was executed.

Why do I find this opening line—an unvarnished statement of fact regarding an obscure historical episode—so thrilling?

Ah, let me count the ways.

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost and Found: Kate Schmier on Roy Hoffman

Morris and his wife Miriam keep kosher, pray daily, and go to a small synagogue that seems forever in the shadows of the town’s majestic cathedral. At the same time, the family mixes Southern with their Yiddish, marks down merchandise for “Good Friday Specials,” and hums marching-band melodies at the Confederate veterans’ parade.

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost and Found: Dani Shapiro on Elizabeth Hardwick

“If I want a plot,” Hardwick once commented, “I’ll watch Dallas.”

Posted in From The Vault, Lost & Found

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Lost and Found: George Estreich on Dale Evans

There are dozens of memoirs about raising children with Down syndrome, hundreds of blogs, a galaxy of status updates. But in the beginning was Angel Unaware. Angel Unaware was written by Dale Evans and published in 1953. Evans, an actor, celebrity, and writer, was married to Roy Rogers, with whom she starred in movies and […]

Posted in General, Lost & Found

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Lost and Found: Alexandra Kleeman on the Poetry Bot RACTER

Reading RACTER’s poems and stories makes you feel as if you are looking at yourself from a great distance, through the lens of a cognitive system that produces meaning and comparisons mechanically, without reference to familiar combinations that make “good sense.” It’s a feeling like the one I used to have sitting in front of my computer alone, late at night, chatting with preprogrammed bots: a sort of intimation or trail that led outward, into the machine, and then, ultimately, back to myself.

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lispector Week: Anderson Tepper on Near to the Wild Heart

Anderson Tepper on Clarice Lispector’s Near to the Wild Heart

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Lispector Week: Kim Adrian on The Passion According to G.H.

In honor of the upcoming New Directions release of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, we decided to hand The Open Bar keys over to the Brazilian legend. Tune in all week for previously unpublished and newly translated stories, as well as reviews and thoughts on her work. Today, Kim Adrian unpacks The Passion According to G.H. […]

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost and Found: Cheston Knapp On C. P. Snow and John Brockman

From our Science Fair issue, Cheston Knapp on C. P. Snow’s The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution and John Brockman’s The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution. I was born into a house divided. In college, Mom studied history and English, and Dad did biology. Growing up, when we needed help with our homework, […]

Posted in From The Vault, Lost & Found

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Lost and Found: Leslie Jamison on Charles Jackson

As you get ready for your Mad Men Weekend, we thought we’d roll out Leslie Jamison’s look at another drunkard named Don. So the plot of Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend goes something like this: A guy named Don gets drunk. He’s gotten drunk before. He’ll get drunk again. He drinks, passes out, wakes up; […]

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Stacy Carlson on Christiane Ritter

As winter presses on, we offer a literary journey to the northern fjords of Spitsbergen, in hopes that you will feel warmer upon your return. This piece, written by Stacy Carlson, first appeared in Issue 49, The Ecstatic.  I never doubted my vocation as a writer until I set foot in the Far North. I stepped […]

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Jon Raymond on Saul Bellow

Jon Raymond on Bellow’s last novel.

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Tana Wojczuk on Alan Sillitoe

I had been running away, feeling useless under the malarial symptoms of my first semester at college: alternately giddy and nauseated, my gut churning from several indigestible love affairs I’d left behind in Oregon. Sick of myself and all my self-referential classmates, I bounced restlessly around my parents’ house looking for something to moor myself […]

Posted in Lost & Found

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A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind

Alfred Starr Hamilton (1914-2000), whose poetry has just been resurrected by The Song Cave in the collection A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind, is an embodiment of a recognizable fringe, the outsider artist. The outsider, a familiar if not always friendly creature, is often little unhinged; she—I take up the feminine pronoun in honor of […]

Posted in Essays, Lost & Found

Comments: 1

Lost & Found: Don Waters on Iain Banks

I was twelve years old when I saw a man nearly die.  At the time I lived in downtown Reno, on a city block near a porn theater, pawnshops, boarding houses, and casino lights.  When I wasn’t visiting my mother in the downtown jail—where she worked—I stayed close to home, exploring and inventing and wondering, […]

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Jessica Handler on The Georgia Wonder

At thirteen, what I craved more than a boyfriend or a trim body was an aura of mystery. At a slumber party, I once captivated an audience by standing in a doorway and pressing my hands hard against the frame. When I stepped forward, my arms floated upward of their own accord. My friends had […]

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Michelle Wildgen on Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds can often be found in wrestling singlet or head-to-toe denim, gazing skyward and guffawing at his dizzying good fortune. He has his soulful moments, too. He likes to peer out a window, bare-chested and holding a highball. I suspect he may have been mentally preparing himself for the final photos, which display him—nude but for a ranger’s hat and cigarillo clamped between his teeth—astride a hand-shaped chair.

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Justin Taylor on G. K. Chesterton

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Geoff Nicholoson on Carradine

Was Carradine really so desperate for money or attention that he had to make nice with a bunch of rubbernecking plebs? Apparently not. He didn’t make nice at all. He sat there doing a crossword, head and eyes down, oozing hostility, daring anyone to approach.

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Aaron Hamburger on Sholem Asch

What struck me most about Three Cities was its core philosophy, that anti-Semitism is a non-Jewish problem. “In every drop of the ocean all the attributes of the whole ocean are contained, for the ocean consists of drops,” says one of the novel’s characters, according to a Talmudic saying. Similarly, for Asch, the fate of the lowest tier of Russian society, the Jews, becomes a barometer for the viability of an entire nation. Time and time again, by screwing the Jews, Russia’s leaders end up screwing themselves.

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: Tom Grimes on Norman Mailer

Tom Grimes on Norman Mailer’s Miami and the Siege of Chicago

Posted in Lost & Found

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Lost & Found: David Naimon on Philip Roth

L&F: Philip Roth

Posted in Lost & Found

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