Online # 2: Laptop Notes From Underground

Imagine Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man with a laptop… “‘Why you’re . . . just like a book,’ she said, and I thought I caught a sarcastic note in her voice again.” Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man is with Liza, a prostitute, but what he wants is to talk to her. He finds her ellipsis revealing. She pauses, and…

Waltzing with a Loon to the Tune of a Whippoorwill

Henry’s loon waltzed into the room laughing laughing laughing at the phony moon rising over the pond-like screen laughing at Henry, at me, and at you too who scorned the whippoorwilled who loon-waltzed our way across the fall season who tweeted twitted twisted and tallyhoed on but what stilled the waters the antithesis of laughter…

From a Buick 6 to a Luxury RV: Crazy Road

Hollywood steers us down the romance of the road in Crazy Heart, the Jeff Bridges Best Actor effort about a Hank Williams descendant continuing to follow his bliss of hard gigs and one night stands into late middle age roads, his only constant partners a bottle, guitar, and car. This romantic view of the road…

Where Listening Gives Rise to Silence and Fizzles

There lived in our neighborhood some time ago a locally famous pianist who enjoyed great demand for piano lessons from parents for their children. The demand was such that a prospective student had to interview with the teacher. One of the interview “questions” involved listening to chords: the child identified a chord as “happy” or…

Hank Williams sings Huck Finn

“At the center of liberal education,” Northrop Frye gives us in “Ethical Criticism,” the second essay in “Anatomy of Criticism,” an attempt to create a science of literary theory, “something surely ought to get liberated” (p. 93). So what gets liberated? “Poetry can only be made out of other poems; novels out of other novels,”…