Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Molly Renda, Water Glass, 2018

By William Eaton   I have proposed previously a first law of American literature, complete with a rider. The law: You are always going to come across one more, intriguing Emily Dickinson poem, ready to reward your attention. The rider: The poem may have something to do with sex. Vivian Pollak, a professor of literature […]

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Emma Hardinge Spectral Photograph

“The Negro Is the Negro Still” How spiritualism grappled with slavery and race in the Civil War era By Emily Sosolik   [In the Summerland] all distinctions between [African Americans] and white spirits cease to exist, they then having become as white, beautiful, refined, and intellectual as these.[1] — Spiritualist Eugene Crowell, The Spirit World: […]

Article
Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 2 Comments
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

A book by an American scholar of Japanese literature briefly discusses one of the anecdotes of The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko, a classic which dates back to the fourteenth century. The scholar, Linda Chance, offers the following translation: A priest of the Ninnaji, regretting that he had not paid his respects at Iwashimizu [a Shinto shrine […]

ZiR
Categories: Essay | 3 Comments
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

By Walter Cummins   Life is a Fiction Over a half century ago, shortly before the twentieth-century British literary critic Frank Kermode’s seminal The Sense of an Ending was published, I found myself in a debate with the campus chaplain, a priest named Joe Casey, whom I barely knew at the time. The topic—Life is […]

Essay
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Bob Dylan. Photograph: Jan Persson/Redferns - cropped for Zeteo cover, full image inside

By Oriana Schällibaum and Marcel Grissmer As I went out one morning may strike the casual listener as one of the more insipid songs Bob Dylan ever wrote. Recorded for the 1967 John Wesley Harding album it has never been very important to Dylan; he recorded the song in only five takes and, to date, […]

ZiLL
William Patrick Roberts, 1895-1980; A Reading of Poetry (Woman Reading)

 . . . la lecture, . . . ce miracle fécond d’une communication au sein de la solitude, . . . (reading, this fertile miracle of communication in the midst of solitude) — Marcel Proust, Pastiches et mélanges   This year Gallimard published, in French, an amalgam of some of Proust’s writing on reading. Herewith […]

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John Singer Sargent, Gassed, 1919, Imperial War Museum

Revisiting the US entry into World War I, including the Anti-War Movement, Propaganda, and the Sedition Act By Martin Green   One hundred years ago, in early April 1917, on a drizzly Washington evening, President Woodrow Wilson went before Congress seeking a declaration of war against Imperial Germany, thus placing the United States into the […]

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Bust portrait of a young man representing the nativist ideal of the Know Nothing party, from Harp Week collection of American political prints, 1766-1876

“I Know Nothing”: Faith, Fear, and Politics in Antebellum America By Emily Sosolik   Let our opponents torture and distort the truth as they may, no specious reasoning, no political sophistry can alter the fact that those who are constantly laboring to fight down Americanism and Protestantism are enemies of their country, and tories or […]

Article
Wendy Artin, Tamara on her Side with Foot in Hand, 2003, watercolor on Fabiano Ingres paper, 12 x 9, © 2003-2014

At sea in these thunder-clouded days we write out of habit and wishing that we might find some magical, Archimedean fulcrum that would right the ship or allow us to gather the pieces and start building anew. At present we cannot be sure how, or if, these pieces fit together.   In any critic’s work, we […]

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The famous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson writes that the attraction of a photograph is not that it captures reality but that it just barely glimpses it. His photograph Derrière la Gare Saint-Lazare captures, in mid-air, a man in a suit and hat attempting a hopeless leap over a large puddle of water.[1] If we had been […]

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Portrait of Marie-Olympe de Gouges, painted by Alexander Kucharsky (1741-1819), private collection

The French Revolution, the Declaration, and Olympe de Gouges’s Rights of Woman By Emily Sosolik   Homme, es-tu capable d’être juste ? C’est une femme qui t’en fait la question ; tu ne lui ôteras pas moins ce droit. Dis-moi ? Qui t’a donné le souverain empire d’opprimer mon sexe ? Ta force ? Tes […]

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Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Anima dannata, 1619, white marble. Embassy of Spain in Vatican City, Holy See, Rome

Review of H.L. Hix, American Anger: An Evidentiary (Etruscan Press, 2016).   “I’ve got a family to feed, a neighborhood to defend.” “I’ve got a family to feed, a principle to defend.” “I’ve got a family to feed, my honor to defend.” — H.L. Hix, American Anger   These lines taken from separate poems in […]

Review
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By您好, yangyang Geng   Memory heals the scars of time. Photography documents the wounds. — Michael Ignatieff[1] It requires constant vigilance to see people as they are. — Olive Pierce    The Portraits of the Jefferson Park Housing Project in Cambridge and No Easy Roses Olive Pierce was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 and […]

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Kamel Daoud, Algerian novelist and journalist

Well just look at all the other Musas in this dive, one by one, and imagine—as I do—how they could have survived a shot fired in bright sunlight or how they managed never to cross paths with that writer of yours or, in a word, how they’ve managed to not be dead yet. — The […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment

          These are preliminary notes on a tension between philosophy and friendship. They are prompted by two texts I encountered nearly in conjunction, within the passage of just a few days. The first is a remarkable passage from  Moby Dick where Ishmael, the narrator whose name echoes the Biblical figure cast […]

ZiR
Wilfred Owen's mother, pictured center with her family

By William Eaton This appreciation of one of Bob Dylan’s love songs, “Ramona,” leverages its lyrics to make three basic observations about poetry and to call attention, to include in the endnotes, to several poems by other writers. While not all of these comments are positive, in general this short essay is watered with a […]

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John Coltrane, "Wise One" score

By Walter Cummins Distraction and concentration form polar opposites which may be stated as follows: A man who concentrates before a work of art is absorbed by it. … In contrast, the distracted mass absorbs the work of art. — Walter Benjamin, as translated by Harry Zohn   The other day when I asked Alexa […]

Essay
E.E. Cummings, Self-Portrait, 1958, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian

The present short text is also a calling card or an example of the kind of piece that I believe Zeteo would best be publishing now. For more in this regard, see the Addendum.   now air is air, and thing is thing:no bliss of heavenly earth beguiles our spirits Or so, E.E. Cummings wrote […]

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San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, from CNN video clip, 29 September 2017

Speeches of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, in the Company of Consonant Words from Patrick Henry, Karuna Ezara Parikh’, Martin Luther King, Jr., Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Shakespeare 29 September 2017, as revised 4 October 2017   San Juan Mayor Cruz’s speeches to cable-news reporters and the world were heroic and heart-rending, […]

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Speeches of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, in the Company of Consonant Words from Patrick Henry, Karuna Ezara Parikh’, Martin Luther King, Jr., Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Shakespeare 29 September 2017, as revised 4 October 2017   San Juan Mayor Cruz’s speeches to cable-news reporters and the world were heroic and heart-rending, […]

ZiR

July 26, 2018

A point of information... This book was translated as "A Fortnight in the Wilderness" and included as Appendix 2 in "Democracy In America: Historical-Critical Edition", edited by Eduardo Nolla. There this amazing text can be read in full. It is worth comparing the translation by James Schleifer to your own. In particular, the rendering of "désert" to "wilderness" is most intriguing.

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Speeches of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, in the Company of Consonant Words from Patrick Henry, Karuna Ezara Parikh’, Martin Luther King, Jr., Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Shakespeare 29 September 2017, as revised 4 October 2017   San Juan Mayor Cruz’s speeches to cable-news reporters and the world were heroic and heart-rending, […]

ZiR

July 26, 2018

Thanks so much for this translation and excellent analysis.

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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

Speeches of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, in the Company of Consonant Words from Patrick Henry, Karuna Ezara Parikh’, Martin Luther King, Jr., Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Shakespeare 29 September 2017, as revised 4 October 2017   San Juan Mayor Cruz’s speeches to cable-news reporters and the world were heroic and heart-rending, […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

Thanks a lot, Steve. And, continuing the segue-ing, here's an old (and traditional) Gary Snyder poem I just came across yesterday: Seaman’s Ditty I’m wondering where you are now Married, or mad, or free: Wherever you are you’re likely glad, But memory troubles me. We could’ve had us children, We could’ve had a home— But you thought not, and I thought not, And these nine years we roam. Today I worked in the deep dark tanks, And climbed out to watch the sea: Gulls and salty waves pass by, And mountains of Araby. I’ve travelled the lonely oceans And wandered the...

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