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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Don DeLillo at Shakespeare & Company

Five months ago: 

We are honoured to welcome author Don DeLillo in the run-up to the launch of his latest novel Zero K.

Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Zero K, Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work, and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize. The Angel Esmeralda was a finalist for the 2011 Story Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In 2012, DeLillo received the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for his body of work.

Photo by Joyce Ravid.

Philip Levine - On the Meeting of Garcia Lorca and Hart Crane

Brooklyn, 1929. Of course Crane’s
been drinking and has no idea who
this curious Andalusian is, unable
even to speak the language of poetry.
The young man who brought them
together knows both Spanish and English,
but he has a headache from jumping
back and forth from one language
to another. For a moment’s relief
he goes to the window to look
down on the East River, darkening
below as the early night comes on.
Something flashes across his sight,
a double vision of such horror
he has to slap both his hands across
his mouth to keep from screaming.
Let’s not be frivolous, let’s
not pretend the two poets gave
each other wisdom or love or
even a good time, let’s not
invent a dialogue of such eloquence
that even the ants in your own
house won’t forget it. The two
greatest poetic geniuses alive
meet, and what happens? A vision
comes to an ordinary man staring
at a filthy river. Have you ever
had a vision? Have you ever shaken
your head to pieces and jerked back
at the image of your young son
falling through open space, not
from the stern of a ship bound
from Vera Cruz to New York but from
the roof of the building he works on?
Have you risen from bed to pace
until dawn to beg a merciless God
to take these pictures away? Oh, yes,
let’s bless the imagination. It gives
us the myths we live by. Let’s bless
the visionary power of the human—
the only animal that’s got it—,
bless the exact image of your father
dead and mine dead, bless the images
that stalk the corners of our sights
and will not let go. The young man
was my cousin, Arthur Lierberman,
then a language student at Columbia,
who told me all this before he died
quietly in his sleep in 1983
in a hotel in Perugia. A good man,
Arthur, he survived graduate school,
later came home to Detroit and sold
pianos right through the Depression.
He loaned my brother a used one
to compose hideous songs on,
which Arthur thought were genius.
What an imagination Arthur had!

The Internet: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

The Internet is both an anomaly and a sign of the times. No, I'm not talking about the actual Internet you're using to read this text (though that Internet is pretty special, too), I'm talking about the L.A. band featuring founding members Syd The Kid (vocals/production) and Matt Martians (keys/ production), as well as Pat Paige (bass), Jameel Bruner (keys) and Chris Smith (drums).

The band might just be the oddest thing to come from Odd Future, the collective known for its irreverence — and, of course, for making hip-hop. The Internet doesn't stand out from the rest of Odd Future because of any over-the-top antics, but because they make great R&B music. Beautiful, textured, enveloping R&B. Sure, the swagger of hip-hop is apparent in Syd's songwriting and the swing of the beats, but that doesn't mean it's adulterated — theirs is some of the most refreshing neo-soul to come out in years, and it's created by a band whose members were small children or not even born when the subgenre came to be in the mid- to late '90s. That's where the sign-of-the-times part comes in; while some decry the death of musicianship at the hands of samplers, drum machines and computer programs, we need look no further than the L.A. band for evidence to the contrary.

Seeing is believing, so the band stopped by NPR's D.C. offices for a Tiny Desk performance that'll give you a taste of the new Ego Death and a song from 2013's Feel Good. Watch the performance and put your Internet service to good use.