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beverley bie brahic's Blog

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Aug.07.2010
In summer we sometimes went to Waskesiu Lake in Northern Saskatchewan.  We stayed with my aunt and uncle and their four boys, or we rented our own cottage.  The cottages were pretty densely packed and there was a section of "shack tents" with names like Dew Drop In further up the hill,...
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Aug.01.2010
One of the twins--five-ish--next door is screaming in the carpark and I am feeling a little envious.  How nice to be able to let off steam in this manner and have the adults stand by, not taking you seriously.  Well, his father is looking for distractions:  a ball, for instance. The ball bounces...
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Jul.24.2010
CBeditions.jpg
My friend and publisher, Charles Boyle, has put up his new website, whence you can link to his blog posts about the difficulties of small press publishing and connected matters, such as Amazon's treatment of small presses.
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Jul.15.2010
"Clear water in a brilliant bowl, Pink and white carnations.  The light In the room more like snowy air, Reflecting snow.  A newly-fallen snow..."   Thus Wallace Stevens, to whom I turn with relief from the somewhat claustrophobic poems of Robert Hass.   I am sitting in on an Ethics...
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Jul.10.2010
Every couple of weeks I write parsley on the grocery list and get it wrong. I've just thought of a mnemonic device: ley like the end of my name which people always misspell. Beckett, according to his cousin Maurice, used to grumble, "I like my t." It's one of those days--spendthrift...
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Jul.03.2010
Here is a link to the French American Foundation Translation Awards:  my translation of Julia Kristeva's This Incredible Need to Believe (Columbia University Press, 2009) is a finalist in the non-fiction category. The winners will be announced in the fall...
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Jul.03.2010
Summer and besides the football--who isn't a Brazil fan when the home team (France) embarrasses itself (not to mention the home country)--my thoughts turn to John Clare.  Tired of trying to make sense, tired of polysemy, tired of messages and profundity, I think just describing stuff is plenty to...
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Jun.25.2010
Zong!.jpg
A friend told me about Zong! by the Caribbean-African-Canadian writer M. NourbeSe Philip, and I've been reading it, off and on, for the past month or so.  "Looking at it" might be closer to the truth.  The book is constructed on the Mallarméan principle of fragmentation, in an extreme...
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Jun.20.2010
At three years old, she is already completely human. Her excitement about her body, her fascination with language.  She stands naked in her bath, in her soft slippery soapy warm skin one can’t not want to touch, and she says “Why?” “Why does Kiba have to die?” “Do I have to die?”  “I don’t want to...
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Jun.14.2010
Frederick Seidel.jpeg
I'm reading Seidel's Ooga-Booga, and thinking of buy the Complete (insofar as he's not dead, only partially complete.  Maybe I should wait.).  It tickles my cynical side immensely:  "In New York City "kneeling" buses kneel for the disabled. / My camel kneels.  We fly into the desert...
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Jun.13.2010
Hot here.  Hot and no fog, which means the temperature doesn't drop at the end of the day as the fog rolls in over the the coastal hills.  We pulled the square small turquoise (50's kitchen turquoise) fan out of the cupboard--first time we've needed it in this apartment.  Set up the ironing board...
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Jun.05.2010
My first house was my grandparents' house and I lived there, on a bank of the Saskatchewan River, for three years.  But I don't remember; only what's in the photo albums.  My grandparents moved to Victoria, B.C., bought a half acre of virgin forest on the edge of the Pacific, or an arm of it,...
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May.31.2010
I thought some more about Hecht, hiking the hills yesterday evening (golden light; a few days of dry weather and everything turns brown--brown I love--here).  Besides the over-lushness of his lines, and a tendency to sensationalize subjects better treated more sparely (as in Zbigniew Herbert) in my...
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May.30.2010
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I've been reading  Anthony Hecht or, more exactly, I've been reading a lecture Christopher Ricks gave at Bard College on Hecht's borrowings or allusions or whatever you want to call them, from Eliot and others. Hecht is one of the poets who fascinate and repel me equally (Robinson Jeffers is...
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May.15.2010
Yves Bonnefoy.jpeg
I'm working, in the brightest, freshest hour of every morning, on translating some Bonnefoy sonnets.  I admire them a lot, for their compression and for their humanity, for their despair about art and death.  They are not rhymed and they are not strictly metered and many of them are ekphrastic,...
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