Sunday Salon 5-27-12

Hope everyone is both enjoying the long weekend and doing some reflecting on Memorial Day! As does happen here in Reno, we went from rain (and some snow!) on Friday to sunshine and 70 or so degrees two days later (and 90 by this Thursday). There may be many things that are boring, but Reno weather isn’t among them.

In other respects, the last few weeks have felt somewhat like trudging through a field of mud: expending great effort and traversing very little ground, all the while making a great mess of myself. I recently went over a week without reading a page, perhaps the first time I’ve done that since I was a teenager. Fortunately, the drought didn’t last. I eased my way back in by reading short selections from a couple of books that have stimulated me in the past, such as Phil Cousineau’s Stoking the Creative Fires and some of Joseph Campbell’s works (especially the first one I read way back when, Myths to Live By). At least temporarily, it seems to be doing some good. But I’m not making any promises I can’t keep.

New stuff actually appeared on my blog this week, the major item being a review of Martin Gayford’s The Yellow House (supplemented by a few images of works by Van Gogh and Gauguin). Next up is the long-planned, slowly-executed look at Christianity in Japan, including a couple of books and a movie. As so often happens, however, my attention sometimes strays to the newest shiny object that makes its way into my book stack, in this case Robert N. Bellah’s Religion in Human Evolution. It looks dense, long (600 pages, and another 100 of notes), and absolutely fascinating. I’ve also been reading some items (here, here, and here) on the upcoming film version of Cloud Atlas, which really makes me want to reread David Mitchell’s fantastic, and I would have thought unfilmable, novel. And I hear that Mohammed Hanif has a new book out. And so on and so on. Ideas and reading material are never lacking…

2 thoughts on “Sunday Salon 5-27-12

  1. The Yellow House sounds like an interesting book; I liked your review. Quite a few Van Gogh books out these days. My, Gauguin & Van Gogh sound like worlds apart. How did they ever think that would work? I visited the asylum in Saint-Remy where Van Gogh went … it was an interesting tour. I love his paintings! cheers.

    • Thank you for reading my stuff! Gauguin and Van Gogh seem to have been pretty incompatible. I think Gauguin saw his stay at the Yellow House as kind of a lark, while Van Gogh was the one desperate for some deeper artistic connection. But Van Gogh was too extreme a character for anything like that to work out. Still, it’s a fascinating bit of history!

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