Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Donotremove
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« Reply #390 on: August 22, 2007, 03:27:40 AM »

Bo, Halldor Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.  I have a First Edition of Independent People that I handle very carefully when I read it.  Excellent writing.  The Icelandic peoples read an extraordinary amount of books each year.  Books of all genre and in so many different languages translated in to Icelandic is staggering.  Icelanders seem to be well adjusted and happy for all the time they have to spend indoors, under lights, because of the winters and dark periods.
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« Reply #391 on: August 22, 2007, 03:42:53 AM »

I also have "World Light" by Laxness on the shelf but it may be a ways off from the pile.Nnyhav is also a Laxness fan.
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« Reply #392 on: August 22, 2007, 10:02:44 AM »

I've seen three titles given for Laxness. Would those fans of this writer consider making a single recommendation to be included in the next poll, or should I include all three title and let the votes fall as they may?

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« Reply #393 on: August 22, 2007, 10:25:48 AM »

Nice to see you bo.  Any Icelander should be good reading--and a nice segue into a little Longfellow I didn't know existed:

THE BROKEN OAR

Once upon Iceland's solitary strand
A poet wandered with his book and pen,
Seeking some final word, some sweet Amen,
Wherewith to close the volume in his hand.
The billows rolled and plunged upon the sand,
The circling sea-gulls swept beyond his ken,
And from the parting cloud-rack now and then
Flashed the red sunset over sea and land.
Then by the billows at his feet was tossed
A broken oar; and carved thereon he read,
"Oft was I weary, when I toiled at thee";
And like a man, who findeth what was lost,
He wrote the words, then lifted up his head,
And flung his useless pen into the sea.
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« Reply #394 on: August 22, 2007, 11:04:18 AM »

JohnR (and anyone else who is looking at Raintree County)....Probably shouldn't post another poem here, but yours reminds me:  Are you familiar with the Neruda that references Lockridge?

I WISH THE WOODCUTTER
WOULD WAKE UP


West of the Colorado River
there's a place I love.
I take refuge there with everything alive
in me, with everything
that I have been, that I am, that I believe in.
Some high red rocks are there, the wild
air with its thousand hands
has turned them into human buildings.
The blind scarlet rose from the depths
and changed in these rocks to copper, fire, and energy.
America spread out like a buffalo skin,
light and transparent night of galloping,
near your high places covered with stars
I drink down your cup of green dew.


Yes, through acrid Arizona and Wisconsin full of knots,
as far as Milwaukee, raised to keep back the wind and the
       snow
or in the burning swamps of West Palm,
near the pine trees of Tacoma, in the thick odor
of your forests which is like steel,
I walked weighing down the mother earth,
blue leaves, waterfalls of stones,
hurricanes vibrating as all music does,
rivers that muttered prayers like monasteries,
geese and apples, territories and waters,
infinite silence in which the wheat could be born.


I was able there, in my deep stony core, to stretch my
     eyes, ears, hands,
far out into the air until I heard
books, locomotives, snow, battles,
factories, cemeteries, footsteps, plants,
and the moon on a ship from Manhattan,
the song of the machine that is weaving,
the iron spoon that eats the earth,
the drill that strikes like a condor,
and everything that cuts, presses, sews:
creatures and wheels repeating themselves and being
     born.


I love the farmer's small house. New mothers are asleep
with a good smell like the sap of the tamarind, clothes
just ironed. Fires are burning in a thousand homes,
with drying onions hanging around the fireplace.
(When they are singing near the river the men's voices
are deep as the stones at the river bottom;
and tobacco rose from its wide leaves
and entered these houses like a spirit of the fire.)
Come deeper into Missouri, look at the cheese and the
     flour,
the boards aromatic and red as violins,
the man moving like a ship among the barley,
the blue-black colt just home from a ride smells
the odor of bread and alfalfa:
bells, poppies, blacksmith shops,
and in the rundown movies in the small towns
love opens its mouth full of teeth
in a dream born of the earth.
What we love is your peace, not your mask.
Your warrior's face is not handsome.
North America, you are handsome and spacious.
You come, like a washerwoman, from
a simple cradle, near your rivers, pale.
Built up from the unknown,
what is sweet in you is your hivelike peace.


We love the man with his hands red
from the Oregon clay, your Negro boy
who brought you the music born
in his country of tusks: we love
your city, your substance,
your light, your machines, the energy
of the West, the harmless
honey from hives and little towns,
the huge farmboy on his tractor,
the oats which you inherited
from Jefferson, the noisy wheel
that measures your oceanic earth,
the factory smoke and the kiss,
the thousandth, of a new colony:
what we love is your workingman's blood:
your unpretentious hand covered with oil.


For years now under the prairie night
in a heavy silence on the buffalo skin
syllables have been asleep, poems
about what I was before I was born, what we were.
Melville is a sea fir, the curve of the keel
springs from his branches, an arm
of timber and ship. Whitman impossible to count
as grain, Poe in his mathematical
darkness, Dreiser, Wolfe,
fresh wounds of our own absence,
Lockridge more recently, all bound to the depths,
how many others, bound to the darkness:
over them the same dawn of the hemisphere burns,
and out of them what we are has come.
Powerful foot soldiers, blind captains,
frightened at times among actions and leaves,
checked in their work by joy and by mourning,
under the plains crossed by traffic,
how many dead men in the fields never visited before:
innocent ones tortured, prophets only now published,
on the buffalo skin of the prairies.


From France, and Okinawa, and the atolls
of Leyte (Norman Mailer has written it out)
and the infuriated air and the waves,
almost all the men have come back now,
almost all . . . The history of mud and sweat
was green and sour; they did not hear
the singing of the reefs long enough
and perhaps never touched the islands, those wreaths of
     brilliance and perfume,
except to die:
                    dung and blood
hounded them, the filth and the rats,
and a fatigued and ruined heart that went on fighting.
But they have come back,
                                         you have received them
into the immensity of the open lands
and they have closed (those who came back) like a flower
with thousands of nameless petals
to be reborn and forget.

(1948)
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« Reply #395 on: August 22, 2007, 11:13:48 AM »

Has _The Kite Runner_ or _Thousand Splendid Suns_ been hashed over yet? Hosseini is one incredible author. Takes one's emotions up then dashes them down than up and down, back again, and then concludes by showing there is actually hope for humans. Good Stuff!
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« Reply #396 on: August 22, 2007, 02:25:57 PM »

Dear Weezo,Independent People would be the book but I am not planning on joining in a reading group next month.It was just Fiction talk.Thanks
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« Reply #397 on: August 23, 2007, 03:02:08 AM »



Some Notes on the Black Angel

The Black Angel
by Carl Corley
French Line Novels
1968, 148 pages

I was shocked—simply shocked!

I’ve never been so shocked and ashamed of myself in my whole life! Reading Carl Corley’s The Black Angel made me depressed not only about blaxploitation pulp fiction—but The Black Angel also made me feel totally ashamed about being dinge queen as well…for about a minute.

"He stood at least seven feet tall, or seemed so to the Black Angel who, even in his delirium, could not shift his gaze from his presence, his sensual maleness. His head had been shaved, rings were in his ears, and his deep brown eyes looked down on the bed with molten liquid in their dark, endless depths. He was naked except for wide belt and a pale green crotch sling of translucent silk which hung loosely in the straddle of his enormous thighs, its thin folds sagging under the ponderous weight of his prick and balls, like a sack of melons, and when he moved this weight shifted sensuously, and showed the exact contours of his organ. On each side of the sling, which narrowed as it went under his balls and came up behind deep in the crease of his buttocks to his waist, a broth of black wooly hair protruded attractively and advertised his potentials. His skin shone like a golden urn and was emblazoned with heavy veins which ran up his arms and down his thighs like webs, adding much to his powerful strength and his maleness."

It was like having my beads read by my worst queenly critic—mimicking me with wicked pulp fiction satire. It was like the death of a thousand cuts—but I couldn’t help myself. I simply had to read more of this shameless book.

"And this giant, glowing with hard sinewy strength, rebellious and malicious where the former slave had been passive, obedient, the very picture of maleness?animal maleness?brutal ferocity, was the personification of the tribal?modern slave. Denied of all liberties, even his desperation for privacy and freedom, even sex, a forced neuter, his loins forever burning with un told and fathomless lusts, his every brawn and sinew screamed for passion and relief....So fierce was this invisible force about him that it reached out across the bed and pulled the Black Angel into its ferocious spell. Even in his illness, he wanted this Negro, wanted his body, even more so that he was a bond slave, of which he could do with as he pleased, this idea, this realization within itself adding to his sexual urge, to siphon all the rebellion out of this giant, shadowy body through his great reproductive organ, into his own mouth and into his own belly, giving him strength, power, stimulation."

I was so embarrassed reading these passages from pages 121-125 of the chapter entitled “The Ninth Day” that I had to force myself to stop reading the book. For about a minute. I had to keep reading some more—even though Corley’s lurid prose seemed so full of shameless literary blaxploitation.

"His gaze wandered corruptively over the slave's groin, saw with a wild tremor all that lush, meat hanging invitingly in its pale green sling, ripe, mellow for the sucking. He wanted that hot juice he knew lay in that golden skinned body. "Yes. Yes." the Black Angel stopped playing with himself and gave the naked slave before him a wanton look. Judan stood then, his powerful arms folded akimbo, his legs spread, his shadowy gaze fixed on the Black Angel. "I want you. Want to suck you. Please!" the Black Angel cried, in a pleading, rasping voice. He had to have this male, and in his craving, he flung all reserve aside and made his intentions plain, gross."

Naturally I couldn’t help but think of myself—and my recent interest in ‘70s blaxploitation movies like Shaft and Scream, Blacula, Scream!!! Corley’s prose seemed so gauche and extravagantly florid—so totally uncouth and politically incorrect...

"Lifting a hand, he ran it slowly up the inner thighs of Judan, noticing with delight that he did not flinch, nor did he give any indication of not wanting to be fondled. Then, running his hand over his organ, he gloried in its firmness wrapped in its thin sheeting of gauze, could feel its head, its stem growing under the power of his touch. He trembled. In fact, every vein and sinew throbbed at a full pulse. Boldly now, not looking into Judan's eyes, be unfastened the clasp and let the piece of thin green cloth slide to the floor. His gaze froze as he raked his eyes over the huge prick that hung like an elephant's from its base of thick black wool. The head was huge, almost the size of his fist, and glowed dully purple."

The more I read the more convulsed with pain and laughter I became—every funny bone in my body hurt. The more Corley’s The Black Angel I read—the more I hurt all over.
 
"He could not deny himself any longer. It was too much for him to resist, whether Judan approved or disapproved. Embracing Judan's thighs in both arms, he lifted his body up and sucked the enormous virile hunk of meat into his mouth. Like one gone mad in the throes of erotomania, he pulled with his lips, stretching the long stem down to him wantonly, lolled his warm tongue around the rim of its head, sucked, pulled, groped, hanging, clinging to the great chestnut?colored frame as if be clung for his own life, as if the hardening prick was his life, and he must cling to it frantically, or fall into oblivion."

What language! I couldn’t help myself—I was simply appalled by the audacity and sheer gaucherie of Corley’s language in this gay pulp fiction novel. Surely he wasn’t serious—surely he was writing all that pulpy crap with tongue in cheek. Quickie novels for a few bucks. All 22 of them...there in the Cornel Rare Book Room...

"Judan, worked up now, his bondage abandoned to something untamed and wild and free, began to work his pelvis back and forth. Reaching down, he grabbed the Black Angel by the nape of his neck, and began to drive his prick in and out, back and forth, faster now, then as in a frenzy....Sweat poured from his chest, gleamed from his nipples and the dark area around them ran in wild relentless streams down his chest, and into his wooly pubic hair, It slickened his thighs, and bathed him as be worked his body in unison with the Black Angel's lips, pulling, pulling, gripping, stripping with his tongue every nerve in the long dark stem."

The more Corley I read the more I realized something about ‘70s blaxploitation. It was a vague idea at first, but then it slowly got clearer the more Corley I read.

"They were in a gross frenzy now, struggling, grunting, growling like beaten animals and, coming to a peak in their movement, Judan spermed, flooding the Angel's mouth with fertile liquid. The Black Angel, still on his knees, still clinging to Judan's pulsating thighs, drank the hot sperm as if he was famished. It kept coming, flowing into his mouth, over his lolling tongue, as Judan drove his groin back and forth, slow, lovingly, slower now, then coming to a rigid halt, as the last precious drops slid down the Angel's throat and into his heaving guts."

I burst out laughing. How incredibly camp—how exquisitely perverted. I realized then how impossible it was to return to the ‘70s—those blaxploitation years of Shaft, Super Fly and Scream, Blacula, Scream!!!

It was a unique time when the image of African-Americans on the screen was changing. Blacks were suddenly being portrayed in Hollywood outside the usual historical stereotypes of the past. In many ways the heroes of ‘70s blaxploitation cinema were like ghetto James Bond types vs. the “Man” and the system.

Corley’s The Black Angel in many ways is like blaxploitative cinema. The male hustler of “The Ninth Day” is a black man—exploited and portrayed as a sex-slave. At the end of the chapter, he rebels against “the Man” like Shaft, Super Fly and Blacula. Judan, the black sex-slave in The Black Angel rebels and stabs the so-called black angel to death.

Michael Bronski mentions in Pulp Friction that “while the story’s eroticism is sexually explicit, the use of the black-angel image is mystifying.”

It doesn’t really seem that mystifying to me—Judan the sex slave is actually the black angel. Shaft, Super Fly & Blacula are also black angels of blaxploitation—struggling within this genre to keep a straight face.

There’s a certain irony and satire to blaxploitation and much queer Southern pulp fiction—the exaggerated plots and characters serve as a self-parodying performance art... and I'm all for that.


 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 05:14:27 AM by pugetopolis » Logged

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« Reply #398 on: August 23, 2007, 10:45:16 AM »

reader et al

I was unaware of that poem until just the other day.  RLJ's use of the line seemed to refer to something classical and connected with Venus (sea born she is often seen with fisherman's tools).  Note HWL's line is in quotes and uses AT==RLJ is WITH.  My memory of the river scenes has the ladies always stroking oars.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #399 on: August 23, 2007, 04:40:02 PM »

Troll Lit

I think Detective_Winslow is in love with me.
We had a couple of love-spats and cat-fights over
in the Gay forum. He was kicking gays both dead &
alive for aids. Then he pops up in Meander—kicking
the poor defenseless pet-lovers. I put him in Ignore—
and the next thing I know he’s stalking me in the
Poetry forum. He’s done the same thing in the Kinks
forum—calling people bad sexist racist names.

I don’t know—I seem to attract ugly Trolls.
Trolvig back in the Book Lounge—then there's that
ever-present Troll from Campbelltown PA. There was
even a gang of tacky homophobic haikuists from
Scotland—mincing around in their kilts. Mad because
I posted a couple of gay haiku. After all, it was the
New York Times “Urban Haiku” forum—and NYC
is the gay capitol of the world. How ironic to be
trashed by a bunch of gay-bashers in kilts from jolly
old England. But then look what they did to Oscar Wilde…

Troll lit is alive and well—a constant subtext
even on the Internet. Trolls like Detective_Winslow
are dime a dozen—the proverbial skunk at the picnic.
And does he stink!!! He stinks so bad that...
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 05:01:21 PM by pugetopolis » Logged

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« Reply #400 on: August 23, 2007, 04:53:53 PM »

I'm confused.  Is that bragging or complaining?
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #401 on: August 23, 2007, 05:06:35 PM »




I give, my dear. What do you think?
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #402 on: August 23, 2007, 05:50:08 PM »

Absalom, Absalom would be a temptation.

"The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation."
Oscar Wilde
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« Reply #403 on: August 24, 2007, 08:54:02 AM »

I also have "World Light" by Laxness on the shelf but it may be a ways off from the pile.Nnyhav is also a Laxness fan.

World Light I haven't yet read ... tempting ...
http://www.raintaxi.com/online/2003spring/laxness.shtml

But Happy Warriors was recommended as next by my next door neighbor, who happens to hail from there.
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bosox18d
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« Reply #404 on: August 24, 2007, 01:46:09 PM »

Dave,Raintaxi looks like a good review site.Have added it to favorites list,Thanks Grin
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