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Another America

 

APRIL 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 Select submissions are presented freely as posts and  may be withdrawn at the request of the submitting author or by determination of our editorial board.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 AnotherAmericaLiterary 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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New 2015:

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

Whitman's Code IWhitman's Code II

http://goo.gl/UJ0rkg

(Amazon Link)

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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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