29 July 2011

At The Millions, I ruminate on the trend toward health and wellness among artists and what it means for creativity. Interesting string of comments thus far.


21 July 2011

This spring I had the great privilege of being interviewed for “James Salter: A Sport and a Pastime,” a new documentary from Checkerboard Films — directed and produced by Sandy Gotham Meehan and Edgar B. Howard, also directed and edited by Tom Piper.  It was a pleasure to speak on film about my admiration for Salter’s work.

Others featured in the film include the late Reynolds Price (whose on-camera readings from A Sport and a Pastime are unforgettable), Robert Redford, Nick Antosca, Salter’s daughter Nina Salter (a publisher in Paris), several other editors, writers, and friends, and, of course, Jim Salter himself.

You can purchase the DVD of the film directly from Checkerboard here.

I also had the privilege of attending the film’s premiere back in May.  Thanks to Checkerboard’s Executive Director Muffie Dunn for sending along these photos from the event.  A most memorable evening…

Greeting Jim Salter


Listening to Ed Hirsch tell a great story about another Salter admirer, Susan Sontag

*After the screening, with director Ed Howard

19 July 2011

If you listen to This American Life on NPR, you know that the show’s excellence lies in its storytelling, and its humanizing of complex issues.  Well, they’ve done it again – here is a painfully accurate portrait of the natural gas drilling conflicts (“fracking”), from the perspective of several key stakeholders, in Pennsylvania.  In the stories highlighted here, we see corporate profit vs public health, the ties between academic research and political power (i.e. funding), short-term vs long-term views on community wellness, and class conflict between local farmers and newcomers (usually urbanite transplants).

Despite all of the investigative pieces out there in the mainstream that question the health, environmental, financial, and social costs of hydrofracking, drilling goes forth with full force – somewhere in the realm of 100,000 wells to be drilled in the NY/PA region. (Governor Cuomo intends to lift the moratorium on fracking in NY state.)

My other posts on fracking here.

13 July 2011

I was actually surfing channels looking for “The Voice“, because someone told me it was worth watching, but “America’s Got Talent” was on, and these adorable little kids were singing and dancing. This gal, I mean, you’ve got to have a heart of stone not to feel somethin‘.

9 July 2011

The Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater  (WHAT) on Cape Cod will be exhibiting the work of my very talented friend and portrait photographer Robin Holland this summer.  If you’re in those parts, stop by the opening reception on Friday, July 15, 6-7:30.

Robin’s subjects include American and international independent filmmakers, Oscar- and other award-winning actors, musicians and composers, artists, architects, writers, political activists, journalists, politicians.  Check out images on Robin’s amazing web site.  The list is too long, but we’re talking everyone from Louise Bourgeois to Edward Albee to Jessica Simpson to Sapphire to Isabelle Huppert to Wong Kar-wai.

Congrats, Robin!

7 July 2011

Thank goodness for the university library.

I was surprised how difficult it is to find the Thomas Carlyle translation of Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister.  I’m also surprised the library is allowing this copy out for circulation, given its tattered-binding condition, though it does come with a handy book protector/case:

Penelope Fitzgerald‘s The Blue Flower has me down the path of must-read German romanticism.  (It is apparently also not easy to track down a good translation of Novalis’s Hymns to the Night.)