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Friday, April 23, 2010

How the movie " Cowboys and Aliens " was born...

The upcoming feature film Cowboys and Aliens ( I kid you not ) started out not as a book or even a graphic novel, but as a "one-sheet" - little more than a mocked-up movie poster - as shown in the linked timeline, courtesy of Variety.

Studios now study how many view movie trailers online

Link courtesy of Variety.

On the centennial of Mark Twain's death...

The collapse of empires does not always proceed at a glacial pace...

Niall Ferguson presents an intriguing thesis in this Foreign Affairs article. 

ESPN's Take on the Pat's first-round draft choice...

Another poem from John Crowe Ransom, 'Piazza Piece'

A poem for the cruelest month, from John Crowe Ransom, elegantly recited.

Ron Borges on Pats' 1st Round Draft Pick

Borges is if nothing else a consistent critic of the Pats.  Sad to say I agree with his article,  Patriots pick shows past shortcomings

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Remembering Lou Clinton's 1962 Red Sox Season

Darnell McDonald's heroics last night - his game-tying home run and game-winning single - for some reason brought to my mind the 1962 Red Sox season and the heroics of little-known (today) Sox outfielder Lou Clinton.

For me,  the highlight of that season was the Sox's doubleheader sweep of the Yankees, 9-3 and 5-4, at Yankee Stadium on September 9, 1962,  in which both Clinton and indomitable reliever Dick Radatz played key roles.

In the first game, Clinton singled, tripled, homered, and made several excellent defensive plays, including, if I recall correctly,  a sparkling skidding catch of a sinking Elston Howard liner.  In the second, fireballer Dick Radatz picked up the win after pitching nine innings of relief !

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A poem for tonight : a bit of Robbie Burns...

Schmalz has a place in the universe, well honored and deserved.  Deny it at your own peril.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The real story of Paul Revere's Ride, courtesy of David Hackett Fischer

The eminently readable and informative account of Revere's Ride and the British retreat would be reason enough to purchase David Hackett Fischer's  book,  but there is so much more to this work, such as the portrait of Revere's upbringing,  of the social history of Boston in the eighteenth century, and of the organization of the Minutemen.

What's Patriot's Day without Longfellow's stirring poem ?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Vladimir Nabokov on Fiction

From Nabokov's essay on Lolita...

"There are gentle souls who would pronounce Lolita meaningless because it does not teach them anything. I am neither a reader nor a writer of didactic fiction, and despite John Ray's assertion, Lolita has no moral in tow. For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I call aesthetic bliss, that is to say a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm. There are not many such books."

William Goldman on The New Yorker

In the Foreword to the anthology “The First Time I Got Paid for It : Writers' Tales from the Holywood Trenches “, William Goldman describes how enthused and inspired he was, upon reading a collection of stories by Irwin Shaw, especially one entitled ‘The Eighty Yard Run’ :

“Well, ‘The Eighty Yard Run‘ is about a football player. Shit, I remember thinking, can you do that ? Can you write about stuff I [sic] care about ? The New Yorker, at the time, had begun its endless publishing of bloodless stories about, say, an American couple, unhappily married, and they go to Europe maybe to change things and they end up in the Piazza San Marco where in the last paragraph a fly would walk across the table, and the story would always end like this : ‘and she understood.’ "

Friday, April 16, 2010

Welcome to Cafe Minerve

This blog's title is an homage to the old Cafe Minerva in Boston.  Since that particular name was already in use at  Blogger,  I settled on an alternative which,  to some,  may seem all too appropriate.  As for the Cafe Minerve's eclectic carte du jour,  the Management makes no apology,  and encourages those consumers susceptible to indigestion to look elsewhere.