There are few skills more useful than the ability to tell a whoppin' good yarn. If you really want to make friends and influence your enemies, one of the best ways to do it is to tell a good story.
Appetites: Why Women Want
The late Caroline Knapp, best-selling author of Drinking: A Love Story and Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs, died of lung cancer a year ago. She guided readers through the intimate world of canine commitment with her dog Lucille. Knapp humbly demystified female experiences of alcoholism through her own alcoholism, and undoubtedly prompted many women to venture into their first AA meetings.
Peep Show #4
My first love is speculative fiction, but I confess that I dabbled in writing erotica for a short time. It seems to be less of an issue nowadays, but when erotic material is relegated to a literary red light district, the result is moronic, one-dimensional sex writing. Many, smirking, would say: "Who cares?" Well, read Anais Nin, and you might get some sense of the difference between "pornography" and "erotica."
Silence and Noise: Growing Up Zen in America
In a lot of ways, the United States of America is anti-Zen. Our society revolves around materialism, speed, impatience and noise, while Zen advocates—if it can be said to advocate anything—anti-materialism, slowness, patience and silence. Ivan Richardson grew up in the '70s among a bunch of Zen-practicing hippies in Northern California. His parents were both Buddhist teachers. When his family decided to leave the Buddhist community in the mid-'80s, Richardson felt like he'd been transported to a foreign country against his will. Silence and Noise documents this young Buddhist's journey into the maw of an American society poisoned by money, television, advertising and omnipresent popular culture. Anyone interested in an honest account of Buddhist practice in America might want to get hold of this book.
Albuquerque Contemporary 2003
Every year, Magnífico sponsors a sweeping juried exhibit of some of the best work produced by Albuquerque area artists. The 14th installment opens this weekend at the Albuquerque Museum and features 42 artists working in every imaginable medium. Albuquerque Contemporary 2003 was juried by printmaker Ron Adams, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art director Stuart Ashman, and SITE Santa Fe curator Nora Kabat, a trio of heavy-hitters who you can bet your easel have put together an exciting show. Admission to the opening reception on Saturday, July 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. is free. On all other dates, admission is $2 general, $1 seniors/kids. The show will run thorugh Aug. 31. 242-8244.
A Streetcar Named Desire at the Cell Theatre
Most program notes are about as scintillating as the white pages. I've never been tempted to reprint them in a theater review. In this case, though, I'm restraining myself only because of limited space. That's because the lengthy quote from a 1961 Tennessee Williams interview contained in the Cell's program for A Streetcar Named Desire is more timely, eloquent and incisive than anything I could say about this American masterpiece.
No, this isn't a new biography of our president. Trust me, this is much better: It's a sparkling translation of one of Dostoevsky's greatest novels. Translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky received widespread critical praise a couple years ago when they published this meticulous translation. Many critics claimed this version will probably turn out to be the definitive English translation of the novel. The Idiot, as you may already know, is Dostoevsky's masterful tale of the young Prince Myshkin, a man too innocent for his own good. Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation is said to capture the flavor and texture of the original Russian while maintaining an enticingly readable text. Russian literature lovers who are short on cash can now acquire this exquisite translation on the cheap in paperback.
Harlan Emil Gruber's Studio
Gruber, a recent transplant from New York City, will open up his studio to the public for a show that will include both current work and art created at the very beginning of his career. If you have a chance to motor up to Taos this weekend, stop by his studio for a peek at Gruber's output. From kinetic sculptures to planetary furniture to mangled bicycles, Gruber's work covers a broad creative range. All work will be for sale. Gruber will open his studio from Friday, July 25, through Monday, July 28, from noon to 8 p.m. For directions, call (505) 751-9338.