Praise from Caesar – The Dilettante Edition, May 26th

I’m going to be completely honest, darlings — I didn’t get a lot of reading done — that is, a lot of new reading done.  I follow a half-dozen writers religiously, but I can’t very well just keep plugging the same people, or else you’re going to doubt my motives.

I’ve started reading an ongoing piece by Vijaya Sundaram, whose blog I discovered last week, and it’s wonderful. I’m always checking my reader for new stories on Vers Les Etoiles — that girl’s in the groove right now, and the Accidental Cootchie Mama is in the midst of an autobiographical cycle of stories that will both break your heart and reinforce your faith in the indomitable human spirit.

In the non-Wordpress world — and this is just an aside recommendation — I’ve just started reading Joe Hill’s new novel N0S4A2, and can’t put it down. I haven’t made the time to sit and actually read a novel in what seems like months now, but I am chewing through this one voraciously. I’m only a couple hundred pages into it (it’s a big one) and I won’t spoil anything for you, but it’s not at ALL what I thought it was going to be, considering the title. He has some of the most original ideas I’ve ever read, and if you haven’t discovered his writing yet, check out his graphic novels called “Locke & Key”, or either of his other novels or short stories. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

So anyhow, darlings, that’s what I’m reading on a regular basis, but this week I discovered a couple more that I will definitely be following more closely, always assuming I can find the time.

Let me direct you first to an essay that impacted me so much so that I wrote my own little piece in response to it a couple of days ago.

Essays – Summer Afternoon, by Cristian Mihai. I don’t know that I could describe how beautiful this is without just putting all of Cristian’s wonderful words here. “I don’t remember a single day when I wasn’t in love,” he writes. This is the anti-depression, the joy of the human spirit, the (dare I say) meaning of life — the passion and fire of being alive, truly alive. If this doesn’t make you smile, tear up, laugh, or send a shiver of joy through your body, I’d check for a pulse, darlings.

Non-fiction – Deconstructing Pinocchio; or, Will The Real Boy Please Stop Dancing, by Sterling Leva. Yes, darlings, last week I gave him an honourable mention, and now I’m citing a specific article. What will people say? Well, hopefully they’ll realize my good taste and, at the same time, Sterling’s brilliant and shamelessly frank observations on his own inner workings, in relation to the various forms of the hero’s journey. (His explanation and illumination of the concepts of Bildungsroman and picaresque are worth the price of admission alone, darlings — that is, if there were an admission fee. Just consider me Sterling’s very own carnival barker — Come one! Come all! See the Man Who Devoured Himself Whole! Dance, puppet, dance!) But I digress. Also, considering my own dalliances in the depths of Disney’s depravities this week, I thought an article about Pinocchio was only fitting.

Poetry – Today is a Pleasant One, by S.W. May. If you read the About page on S.W. May’s charmingly sparse and beautiful blog, you’ll learn that he’s all about discovering simple beauty and simple truths. This poem contains one of the loveliest expressions of longing and simple contentment: “the wind caresses like I always wanted”. Do make sure you browse, darlings, there are treasures here.

Poetry – Keepers, by neenslewy over at awritersfountain. So, I’m including a second poetry entry here as I woke up this morning, found it on my reader, and just loved it. It’s a wet and creepy story told in a few short lines that, in its few words, paints a scarifying picture, ending with a wonderfully wry and wrenching last line: “The Lighthouse Keeper hears a sound more terrifying than the raging storm.” Shivers, darlings. Shivers.

Fiction – John Milton, You Son of a Bitch, by H.Ken Abell at his blog The Weltschmerz Collection. I’m not sure whether this is sci-fi or fantasy, or literary meta-fiction, but whatever it is, it’s clever and funny and ever so enjoyable, and the tarot card is a nice touch. A bit Dante, a bit Paradise Lost, a bit Sympathy for the Devil, this is one you will not want to miss, darlings. Do browse his site as well — you could get lost all day there.

Fiction – The Lure of Dark Gully, by David Stewart, at his blog The Green-Walled Tower. This is a last minute second fiction addition, as I just read it this morning, and was so blown away by David’s masterful use of repetition, like the crash of waves against the rock cliff in the picture he uses as his inspiration for this ominous tale. It’ll only take you a minute to fall in love with David’s writing — but when it comes to the lure of Dark Gully, darlings, heed his advice and “Despair when the figure holds out its hand…”

Art/Photography – Just a Quick Sketch of My Cousin by Ads Illustrations. Okay, someone give this person a job as a professional illustrator! I don’t even know what more to say, other than wow! I’ve always been amazed at the ability to recreate something like this — and fie on whoever says “just take a picture, it’s easier and quicker”! This is truly amazing, and I do hope that someone discovers them.


6 responses to “Praise from Caesar – The Dilettante Edition, May 26th

  1. Glad you enjoyed it – thanks I feel honoured to be included on such a fabulous reading list. I will be sure to read your other recommendations later tonight. (That’s as long as I stay clear of Lighthouses!)

    • That’s a very cool lo-fi recording — sparse and simple, and your delivery and phrasing of those lyrics was great. The outro of Ich Bin Blau Oh Wow was so Lou Reed it hurts… but in the best possible way.

  2. As I am rarely understood, I’m so pleasantly surprised by your words. You have done a good dead for a stranger today. Thank you, kind soul.

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