Tuesday, April 28, 2009

100 Hundred Days, 100 Nights

“The world, which is the private property of a few, suffers from amnesia. It is not an innocent amnesia. The owners prefer not to remember that the world was born yearning to be a home for everyone,” says the writer Eduardo Galeano in an interview (“Through the Looking Glass”) with Parul Sehgal, online at Publishers Weekly (April 27, 2009).

This week marks President Barack Hussein Obama’s first one-hundred days in office, during which the Democratic president has made or supported a wide range of initiatives (one tally has the count at more than one-hundred), initiatives involving the economy, education, health care, international relations and more. Meanwhile, the longtime Republican senator from Pennysylvania Arlen Specter has become a Democrat, reports The New York Times (April 28, 2009); and that seems as symbolic an event as any.

The Journal of the History of Philosophy, a quarterly publication from Johns Hopkins University Press that is focused on the history of western philosophy, is looking for a new editor to serve a five-year renewable term, beginning July 1, 2010. The contact is Prof. Al Martinich, search committee chair (Professor Martinich is located at the University of Texas in Austin).

The web allows everyone to be a curator, claims Jim Richardson, a scheduled speaker at a June conference in Malaga on “communicating the museum” (The Art Newspaper, online April 32, 2009; Issue 202, May 2009).

Festival International took place this past weekend in Louisiana, beginning April 22nd and ending April 26, a very impressive event featuring musicians from around the world, particularly from Francophone countries. Next year’s Festival International is scheduled for April 21-25, 2010.

I am looking forward to listening to new music by Marshall Crenshaw and Jill Sobule, among others; and am still enjoying Andrew Bird and Death Cab for Cutie.

This Tuesday afternoon, today at 3 p.m., the poet C.K. Williams is reading his poetry in Alexander Hall, the Richardson auditorium (Princeton University) in New Jersey. Kevin Young follows in the same place at 5 p.m. As well the legendary (and incendiary) Jayne Cortez is reading her poetry tonight at Dixon Place, 161 Christie Street, in New York, 7 p.m., part of a program featuring Anne Waldman and Cara Benson.

This morning I watched a television news program and topics included film and music and there were even a few books mentioned but there was not literature, not fiction. I was trying to remember the last time I heard a discussion of literature as part of mainstream television. Didn't such books used to be discussed? Literature has become more marginal to our lives.

Is Anybody There?, a film starring Michael Caine, opens on Friday, May 1st, as does X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with Hugh Jackson. Atom Egoyan’s film Adoration opens a week later, May 8th, as does Carlos Cuaron’s soccer film Rudo Y Corsi featuring Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna; and Ron Howards Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks, will play beginning May 15th. (Source: Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel, April 28, giving release dates through August 2009)

The African Film Festival is held in New York in April and May; and there are film screenings scheduled for Columbia University for May 22nd through 25th, 2009: including screenings of the acclaimed film Shoot the Messenger. It is true that African films are shown at other times of the year and some of those dates can be seen with a visit to the AFF calendar at the web site of African Film Festival New York.