Write About A TV Set



In The Early Fifties
by Pat Nolan
(from Counterintelligence, puplished in 1975)

There was a certain myth in those days that things (and life as in living) were cheaper in the States, and from that particular idea and others like it, I was given the impression that the streets of the United States were paved with gold or at least the way of life was considerably different there. So I didn't believe my folks when they said nothing would change when we crossed the border into Burlington, Vermont one summer vacation. It didn't and, of course, the streets were paved, but not with gold. I would have been terribly disappointed if it hadn't been for the TV set in the motel room (television was almost nonexistent in Quebec back then) which, with the insertion of a quarter in the coin slot on the side of the set, gave you a half hour of viewing. It was then that I first saw the real Lone Ranger, alive and moving across the screen with a haughty Hi-Ho Silver! etc., when previously I had only been able to read him in the Sunday funnies and listen to him on the radio, and that was much better than streets paved with gold any old day.

. . .


Giovanni's Room
by James Baldwin

He looked at me with his mouth open and his dark eyes very big. It was as though he had just discovered that I was an expert on bedbugs. I laughed and grabbed his head as I had done God knows how many times before, when I was playing with him or when he had annoyed me. But this time when I touched him something happened in him and in me which made this touch different from any touch either of us had ever known. And he did not resist, as he usually did, but lay where I had pulled him, against my chest. And I realized that my heart was beating in an awful way and that Joey was trembling against me and the light in the room was very bright and hot. I started to move and to make some kind of joke but Joey mumbled something and I put my head down to hear. Joey raised his head as I lowered mine and we kissed, as it were, by accident. Then, for the first time in my life, I was really aware of another person's body, of another person's smell. We had our arms around each other. It was like holding in my hand some rare, exhausted, nearly doomed bird which I had miraculously happened to find. I was very frightened; I am sure he was frightened too, and we shut our eyes. To remember it so clearly, so painfully tonight tells me that I have never for an instant truly forgotten it. I feel in myself now a faint, a dreadful stirring of what so overwhelmingly stirred in me then, great thirsty heat, and trembling, and tenderness so painful I thought my heart would burst. But out of this astounding, intolerable pain came joy; we gave each other joy that night. It seemed, then, that a lifetime would not be long enough for me to act with Joey the act of love.

The Tournament of Literary Sex Writing: the Winner was James Baldwin. Literary Hub.


. . .


The Prophecy of Martin Luther King, Jr., From Vietnam to Iraq Viet
by Thanh Nguyen

I was born in Vietnam but made in America. I count myself among those Vietnamese dismayed by America’s deeds but tempted to believe in its words. I also count myself among those Americans who often do not know what to make of Vietnam and want to know what to make of it. Americans, as well as many people the world over, tend to mistake Vietnam with the war named in its honor, or dishonor as the case may be. This confusion has no doubt led to some of my own uncertainty about what it means to be a man with two countries, as well as the inheritor of two revolutions.

I have spent much of my life sorting through this confusion, both my own and that of the world, and the most succinct explanation that I have found about the meaning of the war, at least for Americans, comes from Martin Luther King Jr. “If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned,” he said, “part of the autopsy must read ‘Vietnam.’” Americans mostly know King for his dream, but this is his prophecy, and it continues in this manner: “The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit. If we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing ‘clergy and laymen concerned’ committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life.” Exactly one year after uttering these words, he was assassinated. Read more...

. . .


Can the "Literary" Survive Technology?
Sven Birkerts
on On Our Changing Brains and What Comes Next


Jim Harrison

It is with heavy hearts that we at Grove Atlantic announce the death of our friend JimHarrisonand author Jim Harrison, who passed away on Saturday, March 26th at his home in Patagonia, AZ. One of the giants of the last half-century of American letters, Jim was the author of 39 books of fiction, poetry and essays. His voice came from the American heartland and his deep and abiding love of the American landscape runs through his extraordinary body of work... Read more.

Read seven poems by Jim Harrison.




Back to the top.




That's the mistake I made... to have wanted a story for myself, whereas life alone is enough. - Samuel Beckett

I started writing the one-sentence stories when I was translating 'Swann's Way.' There were two reasons. I had almost no time to do my own writing, but didn't want to stop. And it was a reaction to Proust's very long sentences. - Lydia Davis


Talent is an accident of genes - and a responsibility.

It would be wonderful to think that the future is unknown and sort of surprising.

I want to swim in both directions at once. Desire success, court failure.

Alan Rickman