Ron Slate's blog

on Behind The Moon, a novel by Madison Smartt Bell (City Lights Books)

I got hooked on Jungian psychology and mythopoesis as an undergraduate in the late 1960s, a preference that made me an unresponsive graduate student of structuralism. A concept such as “the eternal return” is invalidated when signs and mythic stories aren’t granted enduring archetypal and transpersonal significance.

on Baseball Books: Leo Durocher, Pitching as Deception, and Casey Stengel

Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son by Paul Dickson (Bloomsbury)
Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception by Terry McDermott (Pantheon)
Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character by Marty Appel (Doubleday)

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on Boredom, edited by Tom McDonough (The MIT Press/Whitechapel Gallery)

In “Dream Song 14,” John Berryman not only exposed his boredom but patched in his world’s disapproval of such languishing:

"Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.   
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,   
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy   
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored   
means you have no

on White Tears, a novel by Hari Kunzru (Knopf)

The conclusion of Hari Kunzru’s White Tears leaves the reader shaken by the long habits of racism in America and the misappropriation of culture. But the beginning is all about sound. “Every sound wave has a physiological effect, every vibration,” says Seth, the narrator. “I once heard a field recording of a woman singing, sitting on a porch.

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