Part political disquisition, part travel journal, part self-exploration, Seek is a collection of essays and articles in which Denis Johnson essentially takes on the world.And not an obliging, easygoing world either; but rather one in which horror and beauty exist in such proximity that they might well be interchangeable. Where violence and poverty and moral transgression go unchecked, even unnoticed. A world of such wild, rocketing energy that, grasping it, anything at all is possible.
Whether traveling through war-ravaged Liberia, mingling with the crowds at a Christian Biker rally, exploring his own authority issues through the lens of this nation's militia groups, or attempting to unearth his inner resources while mining for gold in the wilds of Alaska, Johnson writes with a mixture of humility and humorous candor that is everywhere present.
With the breathtaking and often haunting lyricism for which his work is renowned, Johnson considers in these pieces our need for transcendence. And, as readers of his previous work know, Johnson's path to consecration frequently requires a limning of the darkest abyss. If the path to knowledge lies in experience, Seek is a fascinating record of Johnson's profoundly moving pilgrimage.
“This book is proof that today’s Latin American literature reaches far and digs deep. Alfredo Molano isn’t a novelist or poet, but rather a sociologist who realizes that ‘the way to understand wasn’t to study people but to listen to them.’ The testimonies that Molano collects are a point of departure for a work that knows how to relate, like few others can, Colombia’s pain in a language that has more colors than the rainbow.”—Eduardo Galeano, author of Upside Down and Open Veins of Latin America
“The people whose stories Molano tells are not social activists. They do not provide political or structural explanations of their lives; they do not tell stories of coming to consciousness. Yet, together, their stories add up to a powerful analysis of today’s Colombia and should indeed inspire US readers to challenge the US policies that continue to kill, impoverish and displace the people of Colombia.”—From the foreword by Aviva Chomsky
Here in their own words are the stories of the desterrados, or “dispossessed”—the thousands of Colombians displaced by years of war and state-backed terrorism, funded in part through US aid to the Colombian government.
These gripping stories show the human face of those who suffer the effects of the US “Plan Colombia” and of a state that serves the interests of wealthy landlords instead of the poor.
Acclaimed journalist Alfredo Molano is a columnist for the newspaper El Espectador in Colombia. He is a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He is the author of Loyal Soldiers in the Cocaine Kingdom: Tales of Drugs, Mules, and Gunmen.
Jean-Paul Sartre, at the height of his powers, debates with Italy’s leading intellectuals
In 1961, the prolific French intellectual Jean-Paul Sartre was invited to give a talk at the Gramsci Institute in Rome. In attendance were some of Italy’s leading Marxist thinkers, such as Enzo Paci, Cesare Luporini, and Galvano Della Volpe, whose contributions to the long and remarkable discussion that followed are collected in this volume, along with the lecture itself. Sartre posed the question “What is subjectivity?” – a question of renewed importance today to contemporary debates concerning “the subject” in critical theory. This work includes a preface by Michel Kail and Raoul Kirchmayr and an afterword by Fredric Jameson, who makes a rousing case for the continued importance of Sartre’s philosophy.
An Academy Awardnominated screenwriter and a mystery novelist, Roger L. Simon is the only American writer to pull off the amazing trick of being profiled positively in both Mother Jones and National Review in one lifetime. The stunning story of his political odyssey is told in this memoir, where Simon recounts his migration from financier of the Black Panther Breakfast Program to pioneer blogosphere mogul beloved by the right as a 9/11 Democrat.But Simon is beholden to neither right nor left in this tale of Hollywood chic run amuck, as he talks out of school about his adventures with, among many others, Richard Pryor, Warren Beatty, Timothy Leary, Richard Dreyfuss, Woody Allen, and Julian Semyonov, the Soviet Union’s version of Robert Ludlum and also a KGB colonel who tempted Simon to join the KGB himself. Among the topics covered along the way:Is there a new blacklist in Hollywood, this one targeting conservatives?Simon’s red-carpet tours of the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, and the Soviet Union with Hollywood screenwriters and famous mystery novelists.Why Al Gore’s documentary on global warming didn’t deserve the Oscar on artistic grounds alone; and why the Academy’s voting system is so corrupt.And, as they say, there is much, much more besides.
Religion Around Emily Dickinson begins with a seeming paradox posed by Dickinson’s posthumously published works: while her poems and letters contain many explicitly religious themes and concepts, throughout her life she resisted joining her local church and rarely attended services. Prompted by this paradox, W. Clark Gilpin proposes, first, that understanding the religious aspect of the surrounding culture enhances our appreciation of Emily Dickinson’s poetry and, second, that her poetry casts light on features of religion in nineteenth-century America that might otherwise escape our attention. Religion, especially Protestant Christianity, was “around” Emily Dickinson not only in explicitly religious practices, literature, architecture, and ideas but also as an embedded influence on normative patterns of social organization in the era, including gender roles, education, and ideals of personal intimacy and fulfillment. Through her poetry, Dickinson imaginatively reshaped this richly textured religious inheritance to create her own personal perspective on what it might mean to be religious in the nineteenth century. The artistry of her poetry and the profundity of her thought have meant that this personal perspective proved to be far more than “merely” personal. Instead, Dickinson’s creative engagement with the religion around her has stimulated and challenged successive generations of readers in the United States and around the world.
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This book comprises a series of Chicago Tribune articles on the Lincoln Park Zoo's partnership with the Serengeti Health Initiative to eradicate the spread and infection rate of rabies in Tanzania. Complete with full-color photography of the villagers, their homes, and the surrounding African wildlife and landscapes, Fighting Rabies is a powerful and illustrative investigation into the efforts to eliminate a vicious disease in a ravaged community.Over 70,000 people die every year from rabies infections, many of whom live in remote and impoverished areas of Africa. This epidemicprevalent in communities close to wildlife but limited in their access to health and veterinary careis particularly tragic because rabies can be significantly limited and even prevented through modern medicine. In fact, several developed countries are now completely rabies-free, while developing nations still face unnecessarily high rates of mortality from the disease.Fighting Rabies explores the stories of the villagers who have been victimized by rabies, as well as the efforts of researchers from the Lincoln Park Zoo to inoculate dogs against the virus and rebuild the surrounding populations of wild animals. This is a captivating and moving story of bridging cultures for a greater good, and creating better living conditions for both people and the neighboring wildlife.