Fort Lauderdale, FL
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Fort Lauderdale, FL for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
West Bend, WI
Garrison Keillor brings his show to West Bend, WI for a performance of sing-a-longs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard. A performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Peekskill NY. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unite us.
Fish Creek, WI
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Fish Creek, Wisconsin for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
The Pleasures of Hating
by Laure-Anne Bosselaar
I hate Mozart. Hate him with that healthy
pleasure one feels when exasperation has
crescendoed, when lungs, heart, throat,
and voice explode at once: I hate that! —
there’s bliss in this, rapture. My shrink
tried to disabuse me, convinced I use Amadeus
as a prop: Think further, your father perhaps?
I won’t go back, think of the shrink
with a powdered wig, pinched lips, mole:
a transference, he’d say, a relapse: so be it.
I hate broccoli, chain saws, patchouli, bra—
clasps that draw dents in your back, roadblocks,
men in black kneesocks, sandals and shorts—
I love hating that. Loathe stickers on tomatoes,
jerky, deconstruction, nazis, doilies. I delight
in detesting. And love loving so much after that.
Laure-Anne Bosselaar, “The Pleasures of Hating” from Small Gods of Grief. Copyright © 2001 by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, LLC, on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org. (buy now)
It’s the 80th birthday of the poet Jenny Joseph (books by this author), born in Birmingham, England (1932). She’s the author of the popular poem called “Warning” which begins, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple / With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.” The poem won a 1996 BBC poll for “most popular post-war poem in the United Kingdom,” and it inspired the Red Hat Society, whose members defiantly dress in purple and wear red hats, even if it doesn’t suit them.
It’s is the birthday of playwright, activist, and feminist Olympe de Gouges (books by this author), born in Montauban, France (1748) who said that if “Woman has the right to mount the scaffold; she must equally have the right to mount the rostrum.” In the 1770s de Gouges moved to Paris and became interested in politics. She wrote several pamphlets supporting the French Revolution, although she soon became disillusioned when the plights of women were ignored.
In 1791, in response to the new French constitution, she wrote Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, which made the argument that the sexes were equal in nature, deserved equal sharing of property, and if both genders were treated as such, French society would be more stable.
Two years after its publication de Gouges was arrested for sedition and sent to the guillotine.
Today’s the birthday of British writer Angela Carter (books by this author), born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, England, in 1940. Primarily a novelist, she also wrote poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, radio plays, and film adaptations, and she contributed articles to The Guardian, The Independent, and New Statesman. Her novels include The Magic Toyshop (1967), The Passion of New Eve (1977), and Nights at the Circus (1984).
She moved easily from magical realism to feminism to science fiction to gothic horror to surrealism in her work. Her short-story collection The Bloody Chamber (1979) was a sensual, feminist reinterpretation of classic European fairy tales. It was eventually adapted for radio and then film as The Company of Wolves.
She died of lung cancer in 1992 and Salman Rushdie wrote in The New York Times, “She was the first great writer I ever met, and she was one of the best, most loyal, most truth-telling, most inspiring friends anyone could ever have. I cannot bear it that she is dead.”
It’s also the birthday of Australian novelist Peter Carey (books by this author), born in the little town of Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, in 1943. He worked in advertising during the 1960s and most of his co-workers were writers or artists outside of work. That’s when Carey began to read: Faulkner, Kafka, Kerouac, and Joyce. He started writing at night, like his friends, and he wrote for the next 13 years, producing four novels. All of them were rejected, but in 1974 his short-story collection, The Fat Man in History, made it to print and critical acclaim.
In 1976 he moved to a commune in Brisbane where he would write for three weeks out of the month; for the fourth week he would fly to Sydney to work at his advertising job. He formed his own ad agency in 1981 with a partner who took on most of the day-to-day duties. Carey stopped in a couple of afternoons a week to do a bit of work and spent the rest of his time writing. Between 1976 and 1990 he produced another short-story collection (War Crimes, 1979) and three novels: Bliss (1981), Illywhacker (1985), and Oscar and Lucinda (1988) for which he won the Booker Prize. He also won the Booker for True History of the Kelly Gang (2001) and is one of only two novelists — the other being J.M. Coetzee — to have won it twice. He’s written 11 novels in all and Australia’s cultural self-image figures prominently in most of them. In America his characters have been called “losers” but he calls them “battlers”: “A battler,” he explains, “is someone who struggles forever and will never, ever, really get anywhere. And in Australia that’s a really honorable position.”
It’s the birthday of Victorian poet and playwright Robert Browning (books by this author), born in Camberwell, England, in 1812. His mother was an accomplished pianist, and his father was a fairly well-off bank clerk whose personal library contained 6,000 books. Robert was educated at home and was a voracious reader from an early age. He loved the Romantic poets, especially Shelley, and at 14 he became an atheist and a vegetarian to be more like his hero. Browning entered the University of London when he was 16 but grew annoyed at the slow pace within the first year and dropped out, preferring to pursue his own studies. He picked up lots of random information and his poetry was sometimes criticized for its obscure references.
His relationship with fellow poet Elizabeth Barrett is one of the most famous in English literature. They began a prolific correspondence — hundreds of letters during their 20-month courtship — which began when he sent her fan mail. They eventually eloped, against her father’s wishes, and moved to Italy. Browning’s poetry was largely overshadowed by his wife’s, at least during her lifetime. She was popular and successful and a serious contender for the post of poet laureate in 1860, though that honor ultimately went to Tennyson. He generally received negative attention if he received any attention at all. His long poem Paracelsus (1835) had been well-received and gave him his entry into the London literary scene, but his follow-up, the experimental Sordello (1840), was ridiculed, and when he and Elizabeth moved to Italy his critics beat him up for abandoning his homeland. Even his two-volume collection Men and Women — his most widely read work today — barely caused a ripple. He returned to London in 1861 after Elizabeth’s death and in 1868 he published his first real critical and commercial success, The Ring and the Book.
Browning also wrote several plays, none of them successful. But writing for the stage taught him how to use the dramatic monologue to reveal character and he adapted it to his poetry. It became a defining characteristic of his work and his most important and lasting contribution to the art, inspiring the likes of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and Robert Frost. He also inspired horror master Stephen King; Browning’s “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” (1855) was the springing-off point for the long-lived Dark Tower series which King describes as his magnum opus.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®