Monday, October 11, 2010

T-16 days and counting

Gentle readers, I know that posting has been light. I am writing--more than ever--but the work I'm pouring into my lecture (just eleven days away!) on Mrs. Dalloway is sufficiently consuming that I'm finding it hard to digest it into little blog-friendly tidbits.

On top of that, we have bought a house--or are buying one--and will close on the sale the very day after my lecture!

I pack a box. I write a paragraph. I lie awake at night worrying about where the couch will fit, what the new daycare will be like, and whether I really should include that anecdote about Lytton Strachey in my lecture.

All of this makes for a rather manic interior life, but not one that I want to blog about.

Never fear. In November, I'll be unpacking at my leisure in our new home (with my very own study) in the melodiously named and lovely town of South Orange, New Jersey (where, yes, the middle school does have a giant orange on a pole out front!) and blogging should resume at its usual sporadic pace.

Until then, I hope to see you--in reality or in spirit--on 10/21 at 4:00!

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Art of Captivity

My friend and colleague Lenny Cassuto has curated a wonderful small exhibit on the idea of captivity. In American literature, captivity narratives have a very particular connotation: a subgenre of stories of whites who were kidnapped by (or ran off with) Native Americans and then wrote of their experiences. And, of course, in American history, the word captivity always recollects the sorry fact of slavery. This exhibit keeps its focus on the political while opening that category up, for us to think about mythology (Demeter and Persephone).  As I walk past the show up to work each morning, I find myself particularly drawn to the play on celebrity wives, looking on in poses of “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” by Karen Yama.

But that is not the only amazing image. Kara Walker never disappoints, and four of her gorgeous and disturbing silhouettes are on display. As is an amazing, Jasper Johns or Glenn Ligon-like print of the lyrics of Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” And then, anchoring the gallery with a stunning pop of color is Anne Sherwood Pundyk’s painting.

If you’re around Lincoln Center, pop your head into Lowenstein and ask the security guard to let you see the art. Or better, pop by tomorrow.

The show will have a formal opening receptions and artists’ panel discussion tomorrow, Tuesday, October 5th. Reception is 5:00-6:30; panel discussion is 6:30-8:00. The gallery is located on the street level of Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, 113 W 60th St., just west of Columbus Circle.

Part two of the exhibition will be held at Susan Eley Fine Art (46 W 90th), beginning on October 26, 2010.

Friday, October 01, 2010

More on Sissinghurst, elsewhere

My review of Adam Nicolson's Sissinghurst is now live at Open Letters Monthly.