Until soon

Poor Stephany, MaudNewton.com’s Friday blogger, has come down with a raging migraine and can’t post through all the little, floating dots. And I’m on deadline. So it’s going to be quiet around here today.

Be sure to stop by Ron Hogan’s site and read his interview with Dennis Loy Johnson, editor of MobyLives and co-publisher of Melville House Books. They discuss Melville House’s trilogy of offerings focused on the irregularities of, and protests surrounding, the last presidential election. And Johnson talks candidly about the logistics of running a small press.

Kenny Hunter's Seated Couple

Apropos of nothing, yesterday I was struck by the Washington Post‘s photograph of Kenny Hunter’s “Seated Couple” (above), one of the works on exhibit at a show featuring the Scottish sculptor’s work. Glenn Dixon’s review begins this way:

In his 1979 novel “If on a winter’s night a traveler,” Italo Calvino imagines a couple’s nocturnal ritual of reading then lovemaking then dreaming as the brief twining of paths that otherwise remain parallel, close but separate. “But do not wax ironic on this prospect of conjugal harmony,” he cautions. “What happier image of a couple could you set against it?”

It’s tempting to describe the picture of two lovers pillowed up in bed with their books as universal but, particularly as we enter the post-literate age, it’s not hard to see that it is nothing of the sort.

“Seated Couple,” one of Hunter’s “Works in Colour,” is a fertile green. (Brandon Webster — Conner Contemporary Art) Already a new kind of togetherness, just as culturally conditioned as the old one, has taken precedence. . . .

Slouched against the snug cushions of a loveseat, a young couple stare into the near distance. He sits with legs splayed apart, she with knees together, feet cocked in. They aren’t holding hands, but all the way down the length of their arms they are touching. You don’t need to be able to see what’s on the other side of the room; they are watching television.

It’s telling that the single hue the piece has been painted is not the ghostly blue that shivers from a TV screen at night, but a robust Kelly-ish green. Hunter is not waxing ironic on this prospect of conjugal harmony. Green, he observes, is the color of fertility, of growth.

There’s plenty of actual literary and publishing news out there, I’m sure, and I have no doubt that others are all over it. Off the top of my head: Bookninja, Moorish Girl, Return of the Reluctant, Galleycat, Rake’s Progress, Tingle Alley and the Cupcake blog are always worth a look-in. And if memory serves, the proprietor of The Elegant Variation returns next Monday — or sometime early next week, anyway.

Happy weekend, everyone.


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