You can see my review of Matt Bell’s Cataclysm Baby, for the Los Angeles Review, here. Thank you to Joe Ponepinto for setting it up. Here in this post, you can hear me read two passages from the book, below.
Archives for May 2012
Tomorrow he would teach Joan to follow the honey bird as Khaobob had taught him—he would show her the wild game and the herds of cattle and karakul sheep grazing on the rough expanse of country which would glow with a brilliant carpet of flowers after the first rain.
Take a look!
Between my house and Haverstock Hill road, hidden on the rise of a hill between flats, is a tiny nature reserve. On weekends, they open up the paths running through the park, and I like to walk in the sunshine in the silent (micro) woodlands.
London is beautiful now, everyone finally happy, as the sun is out. I have nearly finished writing my novel, and I have a lot of freelance paid work (editing, teaching). It is a good time of year.
Best wishes to you all,
The beginning of this series is here.
Of all the Romantic poets, William Blake is the closest to my heart. Ever since I first read Northrop Frye’s Fearful Symmetry, Blake has been a living presence, a thinker who continues to provide a large part of the framework of how I see the world, an artist whose colours and verse I notice everywhere. I remember sitting at my desk in Damascus, copying out The Marriage of Heaven and Hell line by line, puzzling over certain unexpected prepositions.
But the purpose of this post is more simple: to introduce his poetry and thought, and to relate him to the other Romantics. Blake worked through the “Romantic problem” that I described in my post on Shelley, producing a solution that remains just as psychologically penetrating for artists today.
Here is an introduction to Blake’s thought, starting at first principles and expanding onwards into art, the self, tradition and independence, science and perception, tyranny and freedom, psychology and religion. Each point is numbered, and this is my numbering system, not Blake’s, intended as an easy way to get a grip on this sometimes hyper-cryptic poet. Even this brief list should give some sense of why I, and so many others, find Blake such a great inspiration and support.
Great news. I am nearing completion of the “final” draft of my novel.
Last September, I finished a draft that I thought was 80% there. But a few threads and elements confused me, and then I began applications for PhD programmes, so I let the book stew awhile, and focused on completing short stories. This April, I began the novel again, and soon everything slotted into place.
You can hear me talking about my time in Syria, and the Assad regime, in Prairie Schooner’s weekly podcast. I follow up the award-winning author Stephanie Elizondo Griest.