"Pale Fire" by Vladimir Nabokov. The famous American poet John Shade was murdered in 1959. This book contains his last poem, Pale Fire, together with a foreword, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade’s editor Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the ‘Great Beaver’, Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he - can he possibly be - mad, bad, even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal, he reveals perhaps more than he should about ‘the glorious friendship that brightened the last months of John Shade’s life.
Madeleine L’Engle, The Rock That is Higher: Story as Truth (via liquidnight)
“Pay no attention to the criticism of men who have never themselves written a notable work. Consider the discrepancies between the actual writing of the Greek poets and dramatists, and the theories of the Graeco-Roman grammarians, concocted to explain their metres.”
When I think of Pete Seeger, who passed away early this morning at the age of 94, in my mind he is never empty-handed. Always, always, always, he carried with him his banjo.
He was just 27 years old when folklorist Alan Lomax asked him about his odd choice of instrument in an interview.
"Hello there, Peter," Lomax says.
"Howdy," Seeger replies.
"Mighty nice music you’re making, Pete."
"Oh, I’m just warming up."
"What’s that funny looking guitar you’re playing?"
"Oh this isn’t a guitar. This is a banjo," says Seeger.
"Well tell me: Is the banjo something new?"
"New? It’s about as new as America is."
Read more. [Image: AP/Rebeca J. Rosen]