Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Website, New Index, Proust,
A Modest Proposal & More.

Artwork by Tom Blessing

Lots new at Lilliput Review this week, but first a tip of the hat to the patron saint of Lilliput, Jonathan Swift (no one seems to have done a decent Swiftian homepage - any takers?). This past week saw the anniversary of Swift's birth, which is the perfect occasion to reacquaint ourselves with his satirical work that continues to resonate painfully in the 21st century: A Modest Proposal. If you don't have the time to read it, listen to or download the mp3 of the LibriVox version here.

If you clicked the Lilliput link here or above, you will see that there is a brand new homepage. Since jettisoning the Tripod blog and webpage, my life has become considerably easier. In both the new webpage and blog, there are no pop-ups, no ads, no bs. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Even bigger news is a brand new index to issues #'s 1-158 of Lilliput producer by the poet, editor and indexer, M. Kei. This is a wonderful tool that covers all of Lilliput's first 18 years of publication and, in the pdf format, is searchable by author, title and keyword. I am incredibly grateful to M. Kei for all his input and very hard work, indeed.

This week I ran across an interesting new book, Proust As A Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer. Lehrer investigates the anticipation of scientific findings in the arts, dealing individually with, among others, Whitman, Cezanne and Proust (be sure not to miss the "Summarize Proust" page at the Proust site, wherein various readers summarize In Search of Lost Time in 5 words or less, with Monthy Python's original premise duly noted. The chapter on Proust is a revelation and, via his premise, cuts to the essence of In Search of Lost Time, his masterwork. From that chapter:

"Neuroscience now knows that Proust was right. Rachel Herz, a psychologist at Brown has shown - in a science paper wittily entitled "Testing the Proustian Hypothesis" - that our senses of smell and taste are uniquely sentimental. This is because smell and taste are the only sense that connect directly to the hippocampus, the center of the brain's long-term memory. Their mark is indelible. All our other senses (sight, touch, and hearing) are first processed by the thalmus, the source of language and the front door to consciousness. As a result, these senses are much less efficient at summoning up our past."

Another great, very odd find this week is Invisible Republic. I stumbled on this while searching for Charles Mingus' autobiography, Beneath the Underdog. It is an amazing, free mix of music, spoken word and politics. Check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Finally, it's on to the tour of Lilliput back issues, this time round it is #132. At the head of this post you will see artwork by Tom Blessing from this issue. Some poems follow:

"speak low"
kurt weill is still
here when we need him,

for it's an even longer
time from may until

~ Gerald Locklin

Window shade drawn
to the grey autumn rain ...
a lamp silhouettes a moth

~ Rebecca Lily

Endless October
a maze of centuries
and only my nose bleeds

~ Phoebe Reeves

And finally, from the Irish poet Giovanni Malito, who died too soon:

lone blackbird
in the far away sky
-- all of it

~ Giovanni Malito

Until next time, Don .

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