Archive for November, 2010

Blog # 7: Crime and Judith Ortiz Cofer

TweetUsual polishing and small revisions excepted, the biography for Judith Ortiz Cofer are now done, and I’m reasonably happy with it. Writing these thumbnail biographies sometimes feels as impossible as trying to carve War and Peace onto a grain of rice. The task is laughably difficult. Bad enough to have to reduce a person’s dreams, [...]

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Blog #6: List of Notable Patremoirs

TweetThe following list is far from comprehensive. It consists only of some of the more imaginative and interesting patremoirs found while assembling this anthology. 1. Abad, Hector. Oblivion: A Memoir (2010) 2. Ackerley, J.R. My Father and Myself (1968). 3. Auster, Paul. The Invention of Solitude (1982). 4. Bechdel, Allison. Fun Home (2006). Graphic novel. [...]

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Musing #4: The Magic of Lists

TweetThere is a magic to lists, a magic hard to identify, yet powerful and ancient. The catalogue of ships in The Iliad, biblical lists like the genealogical lists of Luke and Mathew are proof of the antiquity of lists. Chaucer, too, was fond of lists. His works contain many lists, including lists of birds, of [...]

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Blog #5: Leonard Cohen

TweetLeonard Cohen, who are you? Saint Leonard is coming to Vancouver, and for seven hundred and seventy six dollars we can see, if not touch, the hem of his robe. Though “no balancing monster of love,” he has “achieved a remote human possibility,” and for this we worship him and let the rusted ironies of [...]

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Blog #4: Fathers Fathered by Fathers

TweetWe fathers are fathered by our fathers. Simple sounding idea, yet packed with possibilities. The particular idea I want to explore here is that as fathers we are shaped by the fathering we have received. For all our notions about what a good father should be, for all our good intentions, as fathers we are [...]

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Blog #3: Patremoir History

TweetThis blog is slightly scholarly in tone. Excerpted from the introduction to Fathers: A Literary Anthology, it examines the history of patremoir writing and makes a case for giving such writing genre status and a name. Don’t be misled by the scholarly aspect: patremoirs are anything but! Since the beginnings of Western Literature, children have [...]

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Musing #3: Media Musing

TweetThe site launch went extremely well. There were over 130 visits on the first day, many of them lengthy. Visits spiked dramatically when Margaret Atwood retweeted a message from Bentley, my daughter and personal media manager. (I should perhaps rephrase the last phrase and make it clear that Bentley is my daughter. She manages the [...]

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Blog #2: Mordecai Richler

TweetThis second blog was meant to be about the origins of the patremoir, but I’ve just had an article about Mordecai Richler accepted for publication and, given the current interest in Richler, I want to post it here as well. Remember Musing #1 and the earnest, elderly minister shuffling through a stack of hand-scrawled sermons? [...]

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Musing #2: Festina Lente

TweetFestina lente is both a musical sounding phrase and a wise one. There is a lot to be said for making haste slowly, and this anthology project would be a very different beast without slow haste. Without slow haste, it would probably have not been much more than a sloppily thrown together collection of personal [...]

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Musing #1: Blogs and Musings

TweetMusing #1 Alex Catamo, one of the bright young designers who helped create this site, has instructed me to blog regularly so as to keep up reader interest. I’ve decided to follow his advice by trying to post every two or three days so as to get you—the reader—to keep coming back on a regular [...]

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