Reference

Books that made America

The key to this take on the well trodden premise is a simple fact not usually assayed: America is still being made and is not a static thing which was done at some historical point in time. The nation is not a baked cake that can be left out in the rain, but a salmagundi, a jambalaya, a gallimaufry, and a slumgullion, if not a farrago. The first America, the one at the time of the Declaration of Independence was not exactly the one that wrote the Constitution a mere twelve years later. The America of 1860 was certainly not the America of 1865. The general self-awareness of this nation has been shaped and reshaped–mostly by events, not by books. Events are hard facts to ignore. Books are interpretations. A national catastrophe like the Civil War defined us far more than Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for instance. The hubris of the author is that their words are important to the process—yet that is a determination that can only be made by the reading citizen.

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On Country and Music

My first awareness of what music was, was a cousin sitting on the front porch of my grandparents house in Spartanburg, South Carolina, playing away on an enormous guitar and singing in a voice which was not pretty, but made you listen.

I might have been all of seven years old, but I remember that his voice was not pretty, as well as I remember the realization at that moment–an early epiphany you might say–that music was made this way. Somehow this had escaped me until an age well after Mozart had written his first symphony. Before that, music was something that emitted from the radio.

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Latest Blog Posts

Mr. Popper’s Paradox

is killing ourselves to death [A mote from the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, more of which may be found elsewhere on this ethereal site.] ‘I remember ye olde bookshoppe.’ This will undoubtedly be the subject of countless internet articles in the coming years...

What Sven Forkbeard means to me

and the consequences of lying [ being the latest driblet from the novel in progress, A Republic of Books] Writing is, fundamentally, a conversation with yourself. That’s it, in the nutshell. (The nut shell of your own head, of course.) Remember to listen to yourself...

At the postmodern multi-perplex

More screens but still nothing worth knowing (from the novel in progress A Republic of Books, more of which can be found elsewhere on this ethereal site) Reel life may be directed to a sharp technical edge in the age of CGI, but what real life we are allowed by the...

to a little cave in Abington

  where the grapes of wrath are stored [Another visit to the novel in progress. A Republic of Books My play about Benjamin Lay begins with a monologue, as he picks the grapes at the arbor just outside his door—well, not exactly. It is a dialogue, but between...

The poison of dragons

[another mouthful of the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, more of which may be found elsewhere on this ethereal site] My argument now is what it always was. Compromise is not a good. And its impossible for me to imagine what would have been if I had been...

The way madness lies, in truth

[Another slip of the novel in progress A Republic of Books] What is madness, anyway? As a young man I was most amazed, in a negative way, by what passes for the religion of ‘psychology’ as a purported science, and worse, some branch of medicine, or even just as field...

Chinese Coffee

Wherein I am reminded of myself [Another sip of A Republic of Books, the novel in progress, for your enjoyment] John Yu has been coming in the shop since he was a kid. He is still a kid, but bigger. He went to MIT. He’s at the University of Pennsylvania now, though...

Helen Grimaud saves the earth

  [ A few more notes from the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, that might entertain]   When you listen to Helene Grimaud play the Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto you understand the music itself a little better, I think. There are other, ‘bigger’...

Smelling guns and firing roses

[ Another tittle from the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, for your consideration ] ‘There are more booby traps in the original Constitution of the United States than in a congress of naked women—not intentional, to my reading, but the by-product of the...

Miss Wheatley

[A tasty new collop that speaks for itself, taken from the work in progress, A Republic of Books] However, my favorite scene in that book is the encounter between Henry Knox, Phillis Wheatley, and John Peters, her future husband. I liked it so much that I have already...

Thoreau Again

 [ Yet another morsel of John Finn to be eaten alone or with the greater meal] “The thunder had rumbled at my heels all the way, but the shower had passed off in another direction; though if it had not, I half believed that I should get above it. I at length reached...

Mr. Chekhov

[a tasty portion from another novel, John Finn, written a while back. It seems to work by itself.]   It seems to me that if a novel isn’t about a man and a woman then it ought to be about why it’s not about a man and a woman. I’ve come to this conclusion rather...

Novels & Novellas Available for Purchase

I Am William McGuire

I Am William McGuire

It’s a bloody Cro-Magnon world.
What’s a Neanderthal to do?

 

A Slepyng Hound to Wake

A Slepyng Hound to Wake

Leaving well enough alone is not good enough at all—not if the reason for a death is to be found in the life that was lost.
Hound

Hound

Henry Sullivan has made a simpler life for himself, finding and selling books. There is little room in it for either love or murder.

 

About

I have been informed by trusted authority that the short quip which I have placed here for the last year or so, by way of biography, lacks gravitas. “Over-paid by others for hyphenated jobs such as lawn-work, snow-shoveling, house-painting, office-boy, dish-washer, warehouse-grunt, table-waiter and hotel night-clerk–I’ve since chosen to be a writer, editor, publisher, and for most of my life, a bookseller, and even managed to occasionally pay myself. Hound is my first published novel.” And so it does. It is hard to be serious about so unserious a subject as oneself. But herewith, and keeping the ‘nasty bits’ (Brit expressions are so brilliant) to myself, I offer then, this ongoing post begun as posts at Small Beer Press. If anyone is interested, from time to time I will add something at the end to bring the epic closer to the present moment.

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