Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Rrrrrandom Rrroundup

Thank you 

to Clive for a fresh post on Thaliad.

Not a bit surprised

Ted and Sylvia invoke spirits:

"Mention Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath to the average poetry fan, and the first thing that comes to mind (other than the poetry, of course) is likely to be images of doomed romance, suicide, or love gone sour. Less well known are the pair’s experiments with the Ouija board. According to Hughes, in a note to his wife’s poem, Ouija, Plath “occasionally amused herself, with one or two others, by holding her finger on an upturned glass, in a ring of letters laid out on a smooth table, and questioning the ‘spirits’.”

The article goes on to talk about other interesting things such as Coleridge and the anima mundi....

Scott G. F. Bailey is baffled at Six Words for a Hat 

"I pause yet again to consider the state of American publishing. I confess myself baffled by it. It's rare when a new novel comes out that excites me, and when I look at the catalogues of independent presses I feel a definite estrangement from the books they're putting out. Everyone claims to be transgressive or experimental, but to me it's just a lot of formal gameplaying to hide, I strongly suspect, some pretty pedestrian ideas and inelegant writing. One is not supposed to say that aloud, if one is a writer, but there it is. I am aware that every novelist who can't get a book deal says the same thing. I am unable to critically evaluate my own novels, of course, as every novelist is unable to critically evaluate his own novels. So I can't even claim, honestly, that I write good books. I can only claim that I write books, that I have written eight of them. The most recent book I've written is called, for now, The Hanging Man, and I wrote the final sentence of the first draft around 1:00 PM, PST, today."

@tedgioia tweets

"I was especially impressed by [the late Arthur] Danto's claim that the future of art wouldn't be the pursuit of 'progress' but a return to serving human needs."

Dear journalists,

And yet another thing you're neglecting...

Could we spend slightly less time on the latest fracas du jour and a little more time on the plight of the honey bee? You gave the bee its moment and then moved on. We really need those little gold-dusted creatures. (Sylvia, bee poet, you should have stuck around and helped the honey bee!)


  1. I agree wholeheartedly about the honey bee. That is a scary situation.

  2. Marty,

    I do wish journalists had longer attentions spans for some things...

    Oh, and I loved your procrastination tweet-back!


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.