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Another America

 

MAY 2015

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Manifest:

This website is the manifest of a group of writers dedicated to the celebration of the written word–both classic and contemporary. It is open to any writer who wishes to submit his work (see Submissions, left panel). Rights to the submissions  remain solely those of the submitting authors. Select submissions are presented freely as posts and  may be withdrawn at the request of the submitting author or by determination of our editorial board.  Another America is also open to photographs, videos, music and even such paintings as our readers shall be moved to share. We have been a web presence since early in the new century.  Select authors are represented by the agency  auspices of Another America Literary and charitable donations to the Smithsonian Institution are handled by The Library Arts Alliance. We continue to  chart a highly inclusive course.  All are invited and many will find (as many have found) respite and a home.

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The Library Arts Alliance:

The Library Arts Alliance benefits the nation’s library, The Smithsonian Institution or a specified university library in states and municipalities across America.

AnotherAmericaLiterary, LLC

AnotherAmericaLiterary represents contributing authors whose work we believe worthy of hard copy publication and therefore significantly wider distribution.

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AnotherAmericaLiterary

New 2015:

Whitman’s Code: A New Bible Vols. I & II

Whitman's Code IWhitman's Code II

http://goo.gl/UJ0rkg

(Amazon Link)

T.S. ELIOT’S MENTAL BREAKDOWN:

THE MAN FROM LLOYD’S

Eliot and Cane Cropped

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WEEDS

Weeds 1

   Weeds are called “mauvaises herbes” in French – bad herbs, bad little plants. One word in English, two words in French. In English the “bad” is built into the word. Weeds are – by nature – bad. We don’t need to say “bad weeds”. In French “herbes” can be positive,  “herbes fines, plants used to make food taste even better…oregano, thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary and the like. But in English weeds are intrinsically nasty; there are no good ones. Here’s what the people that make the Webster dictionary have to say about being a “weed”: a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants. Here’s the Free Dictionary’s take on the word: A plant considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, especially one that grows where it is not wanted and often grows or spreads fast or takes the place of desired plants. – Weeds are no good; they overgrow, choke, spread rapidly, take the place of more desirable plants, and are not even pleasant to look at.

 Do you know people who have pangs of conscience when pulling weeds? I saw one in the mirror the other day. He smiled meekly when he said (in all seriousness), “And what if all Being has feelings? What if ants, plants, worms, trees, and even moons and suns have feelings?” I wondered how he could live in this world. He sensed my thought and said, “Of course there would be infinite suffering – suffering everywhere, but wouldn’t there also be infinite joy?”

T.S. Eliot’s Mental Breakdown

THE MAN FROM LLOYD’S                                                                                    M.C. Gardner

PROLOGUE (TEXT)

REVIEW: THE T. S. ELIOT SOCIETY (TEXT)

EXCERPTS (AUDIO):

Eliot Breakdown 2

SOMEONE TO SEE YOU TOM… ⇓

 

Viv 1

VIVIENNE & TOM’S  ELECTRO-SHOCK THERAPY  1921 ⇓

BERTRAND RUSSELL: A MÉNAGE  OF MORE THAN MINDS

Russell 2

THE EUMENIDES ⇓

 

 

JUST DUCKY…

Duck 1

 The quacking of ducks is one of nature’s most beautiful sounds. Why we call it “quacking” instead of “talking” is beyond me. Humans think they are the only ones who talk. Birds chirp. Pigs oink. Cows moo. Dogs bark. Cats meow. Frogs croak. Chickens cackle. Crows caw. Donkeys bray. Horses neigh. Mice squeak. Owls hoot. Pigeons coo. Roosters crow. Lions roar. Turkeys gobble. Snakes hiss. People, however, talk…But listen again. Listen to the sounds that come out of human mouths in churches, at sporting events, in love or hate situations, when anger or joy are present, when fear strikes, or even around the dinner table or the TV news desk…There is much quacking, chirping, hissing, cackling, croaking, mooing, braying, squeaking, gobbling, crowing, cooing, meowing, neighing, barking, oinking, hooting, roaring, and gobbling. I seriously doubt that when we humans open our mouths we are describing the truth of the world any better than our four-legged, furry, flying, crawling, web-footed friends are. We have our world; they have theirs. Mankind just can’t seem to understand that his world is no truer, righter, higher, or more important than the worlds of all other beings.

 Human talk is just sounds like any other sounds made by creatures on earth. Because we have what we call “language” does not mean we have truth. Language has nothing to do with truth. Why should it? Why should the sounds that come out of human mouths be representative of “truth” and the sounds that come out of other creatures mouths not be? We have duped ourselves into thinking our “words” are somehow correctly breaking the world down into its real parts. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our world makes sense to us just like a cat’s world makes sense to a cat and a rooster’s world makes sense to a rooster. But our world is no “truer” or “realer” than that of a cat, rooster, snake, pig, turkey, lion, donkey, mouse, pigeon, owl, turkey, horse, pig, dog, frog, duck, or crow. We do what we do and we die, just like all the above boys, girls, men, and women.

 Ah! You didn’t like it when I called so-called animals “boys and girls, men and women”! You want to reserve those words only for yourselves. Do you see how you are? On what do you base your distinctions? Do you know what is behind “life”? Do you know what moves “being”? Do you know what is the essence of anything? No, you don’t. You don’t even have the slightest idea as to why you do anything you do. No thought, no emotion, no movement in any part of your body is known to you. It happens and then you look back and give it a reason. But you have no idea why any of it happens. None. Zero. The human mind, the duck mind, the lion mind, the pig mind…no mind has any idea of what is behind “being”. We can talk all we want with all our words, but we will never understand what moves any part of the universe to be what it is.

 So which parts of the world do you want to pretend you understand and hence can accurately “talk about”? If you think deeply before you talk, will you have anything to say?

Greg Darlin’

Leontyne Price 3

My Weekend with Leontyne Price

Greg Stanford

The great American soprano Leontyne Price was among the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honor in 1980, the third annual Kennedy Center Honors presentation and gala. Her fellow recipients were Leonard Bernstein, James Cagney, Agnes DeMille and Lynn Fontanne. While most of the honorees come with a personal guest, the Kennedy Center provides an escort for each recipient for the weekend, from pickup at the airport to the return. This person is normally a Kennedy Center employee, preferably one with a knowledge and appreciation of the artist in his or her charge. It was my good fortune to be that person for Leontyne Price, a singer I had long admired. At the very least, I considered her one of the two greatest Verdi sopranos of the Twentieth Century, alongside the long retired Rosa Ponselle, who had walked away from her career at forty in the mid 1930’s. Continue reading

Pasteboard Masks

moby-dick 

The Book of Job is a play removed from the historical agenda of the Jews. Job is not a Jew but rather from the land of Uz. This device allows the author to address the caprices of God and not deprive himself of an audience, or (more to the point) engage one heavy with stones. The prologue acquaints us with Job’s piety, his assets and family. During a sacred oblation the scene shifts to Heaven. Satan drops by for a chat. God sets the plot in motion: “Hath thou considered my servant Job? For there is none like him on the Earth – a perfect and upright man.” Satan takes the bait. He suggests, Job appears saintly because God has put a protective hedge about him. God demurs but allows Satan to take his best shot: “Behold all that he hath is in thy power.” Life becomes more difficult for the unsuspecting Uzzite. Marauding Chaldeans slaughter most of his herds and herdsmen. Job is thankful for the shepherds and sheep that were spared. A fire falls from the sky consuming them each. He takes solace in his family. His sons are killed in the collapse of his brother’s house. Job is stoical: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Continue reading

Ferguson’s “World”

Ferguson_Jpeg

The world. – “I love the world,” says one. “I hate the world,” says another. “Some days I hate the world, some days I love it,” says another. All three are being truthful about what they feel. What is completely untrue is to think there is such a thing as “the world”. There isn’t. There is no “world”. No two human beings see the same “world”. This is where most, if not all, misunderstanding comes from. We talk about things as if we’re talking about “the same thing”. We’re not. “The world” – or perhaps “life” – is the best example.

Continue reading

Nimbus Prima Voce Series

 

The Nimbus Prima Voce C.D. Series

Greg Stanford

Since writing my recent piece “What About Today”, I have fortunately heard further evidence that the supply of fine new vocal talent is continuing to increase. At the same time, some of the new voices heard recently have sent me back to singers from the first four decades of the 20th Century to make some comparisons. My collection includes many discs from the British label Nimbus.  They pioneered their remarkable recording technique in 1989.  The Nimbus Prima Voce Series makes listening to these past singers a much richer and more rewarding experience than it used to be. Most of these C.D.’s are easily available on Amazon, often for bargain prices. They are by far the best way to hear singers whose recordings were made on 78 R.P.M. records. The sound quality difference between the Prima Voce Series and other transfer methods is particularly striking in pre-1925 acoustic recordings, though considerable improvement is also obvious in electrical recordings made beginning in 1925, when the microphone made it possible to record a full orchestra, as well as bringing increased fidelity to recorded voices.

Nimbus’s technology for transfer of the old 78’s is unique. They constructed a small, acoustically ideal “hall”, where they placed a specially constructed horn gramophone equivalent to the best models made in the early 20th Century. Thorn needles were used, as they produced the best sound. Digital microphones were placed in the tiny hall and a mint copy of the 78 played on the gramophone while the sound engineers recorded the playback digitally from outside the hall. Thus the voices were finally allowed to resonate in ideal playback circumstances in acoustically perfect surroundings. The results are much more satisfying than before, as the resonance of the little hall frees the voices from the acoustically dry recording rooms where the originals were made. Originally, only people with the highest quality gramophone placed in a room with fine acoustics (obviously a rare combination in a home) could have heard similar results. Nimbus has now made these wonderful old singers palatable to the ears of a more general modern audience than only the collectors and specialists, always a small minority, who cannot help but be delighted as well.  Continue reading

“Miracle Child”

Plane Crash Crop

“Miracle Child Survives Plane Crash”

This and variations of the same were headlines  early in the New Year of our collective consciousness.  It was a feel-good story and  a welcome antidote to the Syrian civil war’s displaced and dead, Isis be-headings and disappearing passenger jets–to name only a few of the receding year’s dismal news leads.

Even so, I am reminded of a movie moment from my childhood.  The film was called “The Big Fishermen.”  The anglers in question were soon to become fishers of men.  At this juncture in the film the nascent disciples had survived a storm on the Sea of Galilee.  One of the sailors (who had been fished out of the water by the burly, no nonsense  John) was thanking God for his deliverance.   John sagely averred: “You can thank God for the storm–you can thank me for saving your sorry ass!”  That was a paraphrase and there have been those who have questioned my memory of at least a portion of the last line. Continue reading

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