Friday, June 25, 2010

Great Literature Blows My Mind

This is a new gem from my pal Peter K. Steinberg at He's videotaping the actual public garden Plath writes about in Chapter 11. My favorite part is the end where Peter says he thinks that's what a weeping scholar tree is. It's beautiful and surreal, to see in real life what you have imagined in your own reader's brain a thousand times as you revise your YA book called Bell Jar Summer. In Chapter 11 she also mentions Chicago and imagines the intricacies involved in committing Hari Kari, "...they would jab in the knives in and zip them around, one on the upper crescent and one on the lower crescent, making a full circle. Then their stomach skin would come loose, like a plate, and their insides would fall out, and they would die."

I know!

This whole video reminded me of the time I was in Russia in 1994 post Perestroika and Galsnost, pre now. I was a Russian Lit freak (are you surprised?) and in love with Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita and we visited Patriarch's Ponds in Moscow where the beginning of the novel is set and it was like walking fully awake through a recurring dream. On a corner of the deserted water there was a cafe with a giant menacing black cat painted on the wall (Behemoth) and we spent what little money we had left to eat real food there. The place was filled with drunk Russian gangsters and a skinny and terrified strolling violin player. There were roses on the tables and menacing hilarity throughout. If only I had a digital camera then.

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