Thursday
Aug282014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Leo Tolstoy vs. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe! August 28

SPECIAL!!  1 Day + 2 Dead Writers

Passersby can choose either

Goethe or Leo Tolstoy!


AUGUST 28, 2014

LEO TOLSTOY (1828-1910)


Location:   Downtown Asheville NC

        4:15pm - 5:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link 

 

or Haywood St near Malaprops map link
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link
or near Wicked Weed & Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link


         7:30pm - 10:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or near Wicked Weed & Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)

 

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of works by this Russian novelist, short story writer, philosopher and social activist. The selection will then be read out loud to the Listener.

 

More information about Leo Tolstoy can be found at Wikipedia.

 

  

 

“And there in the middle, high above Prechistensky Boulevard, amidst a scattering of stars on every side but catching the eye through its closeness to the earth, its pure white light and the long uplift of its tail, shone the comet, the huge, brilliant comet of 1812, that popular harbinger of untold horrors and the end of the world. But this bright comet with its long, shiny tail held no fears for Pierre. Quite the reverse: Pierre’s eyes glittered with tears of rapture as he gazed up at this radiant star, which must have traced its parabola through infinite space at speeds unimaginable and now suddenly seemed to have picked its spot in the black sky and impaled itself like an arrow piercing the earth, and stuck there, with its strong upthrusting tail and its brilliant display of whiteness amidst the infinity of scintillating stars. This heavenly body seemed perfectly attuned to Pierre’s newly melted heart, as it gathered reassurance and blossomed into new life.”

 from "War and Peace" 



 

“I think... if it is true that
there are as many minds as there
are heads, then there are as many
kinds of love as there are hearts.”


from "Anna Karenina"


Thursday
Aug282014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe vs. Leo Tolstoy! August 28

SPECIAL!!  1 Day + 2 Dead Writers

Passersby can choose either

Goethe or Leo Tolstoy!

AUGUST 28, 2014

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE (1749-1832)


Location:   Downtown Asheville NC

        4:15pm - 5:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link 

 

or Haywood St near Malaprops map link
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link
or near Wicked Weed & Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link


         7:30pm - 10:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or near Wicked Weed & Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)

 

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of poetic works by this German writer, considered by just about everyone there is to be the greatest writer in the German language. The selection will then be read out loud to the Listener.

 

 

More information about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe can be found at Wikipedia. You can read some of his poems in English at Poetry in Translation and in the original German at Die Deutsche Gedichte Bibliothek and here with some dual English/German versions. You can read Faust in translation here.

 

 

“You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admiration’s to your taste,
But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.”     

 from "Faust, Part One" 

 

 

 

“Who are you then?"


"I am part of that power

which eternally wills evil

and eternally works good.”


from "Faust Part One"

Wednesday
Aug272014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, August 27

AUGUST 27, 2014

GEORG WILHELM FRIEDRICH HEGEL (1770-1831)


Location:   Downtown Asheville NC

Time:         7:00pm - 10:00pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link

or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 

or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link

 or near Wicked Weed & Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)

 

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of subjects by this German philosopher and major figure in German Idealism, whose theories of synthesis developed the concept that mind or spirit manifested itself in a set of contradictions and oppositions that ultimately integrated and united, without eliminating either pole or reducing one to the other.

 

The selection from will then be read out loud to the Listener.

 

Of Hegel's revolutionary impact on European philosophy, Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote, "All the great philosophical ideas of the past century—the philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche, phenomenology, German existentialism, and psychoanalysis—had their beginnings in Hegel..."  Michel Foucault has contended that contemporary philosophers may be "doomed to find Hegel waiting patiently at the end of whatever road we travel".

 

 

More information about Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel can be found at Wikipedia. For some sites that make an intelligent attempt to introduce the philosophical concepts of Hegel to the non-philosopher, you can visit Philosophy Basics or Squashed Philosophers for his theories of History and Religion.

 


   

“Truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in an emergent synthesis which reconciles the two.”      

 

 

 


 

"What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it. We learn from history that we do not learn from history.”


from "The Philosophy of History”

Tuesday
Aug262014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Christopher Isherwood, August 26

 

AUGUST 26, 2014

CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD (1904-1986)


Location:   Downtown Asheville NC

Times:    from 3:30pm - 5:30pm  &  6:30pm - 8:30pm

    On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link

    or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link


from 10:00pm to 11:30pm

    at O'Henry's Bar on Haywood St map link 


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)

 

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this American short-story writer, novelist and playwright, whose stories of the underworld of Weimar Berlin were adapted into the movies "I Am a Camera" and the musical "Cabaret". The character of 'Sally Bowles' was based on his relationship with the British singer and writer Jean Ross.

The selection from will then be read out loud to the Listener.

 

 

 

Isherwood was close to the poet WH Auden and collaborated on many poetic and dramatic projects with him. He was also friends with EM Forster, Truman Capote and many Hollywood actors and directors. His frank accounts of life as a gay man both in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, and later in California in the 1950s and 1960s in particular, including his novel A Single Man, were some of the first to reach a mainstream audience and were a source of pride for many gays forced to live closeted lives around the world.

 

He met and fell in love with the artist Don Bachardy in the early 50s and they stayed together until Isherwood passed away in January 1986. Their relationship was extraordinary and they lived as an out couple during a time when being out was far more difficult than it is today.

 

More information about Christopher Isherwood can be found at Wikipedia and at the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, which preserves his legacy and awards scholarly grants. You can read a 1974 interview with Isherwood at The Paris Review.

 

 

 

“Think of two people, living together day after day, year after year, in this small space, standing elbow to elbow cooking at the same small stove, squeezing past each other on the narrow stairs, shaving in front of the same small bathroom mirror, constantly jogging, jostling, bumping against each other’s bodies by mistake or on purpose, sensually, aggressively, awkwardly, impatiently, in rage or in love – think what deep though invisible tracks they must leave, everywhere, behind them!"

from "A Single Man”

 

A trailor for the 2007 documentary film "Chris and Don: A Love Story"

 


Monday
Aug252014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Bret Harte, August 25

AUGUST 25, 2014

BRET HARTE (1836-1902)


Location:   Downtown Asheville NC

Time:         5:30pm - 7:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)

 

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this American short-story writer, journalist and poet, whose stories of the California West during the Gold Rush era brought a new dimension of compassion and sensitivity to people who had previously been portrayed in highly simplistic and stereotypical "Wild West" style.

The selection from will then be read out loud to the Listener.

Harte often went against the current opinions and mores of his time by speaking out against injustice to the treatment in the West of American Indians and Chinese immigrants, as well as the double standards placed on women in Western communities. Later in life he lived abroad in England partly to escape the small-mindedness of American society.

Mark Twain in his younger years had disparaged Harte, but in the later pages of his Autobiography wrote: “By ancient training and inherited habits, I have been heaping blame after blame, censure after censure, upon Bret Harte, and have felt the things I have said, but when my temper is cool I have no censures for him. The law of his nature was stonger than man's statutes and he had to obey it."

More information about Bret Harte (born Francis Brett Hart) can be found at Wikipedia and at American Passages and at American Literature where you can read many of his stories and books online, or at Poem Hunter where you can read his poesm online.

 

"I fear I cannot claim any higher motive than to illustrate an era of which Californian history has preserved the incidents more often than the character of the actors. … And I shall be quite content to have collected here merely the materials for the Iliad that is yet to be sung.”

 

 

Sunday
Aug242014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Jorge Luis Borges, August 24

AUGUST 24, 2014

JORGE LUIS BORGES (1899-1986)


Location:   Downtown Asheville NC

Time:         5:30pm - 8:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link

or near Wicked Weed & Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)

 

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections in various literary forms by this Argentinian short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, whose wild, surrealistic imagination helped launch the Latin American literary form later referred to as "Magic Realism" and helped to revitalize a stale literature world-wide.

The selection from the chosen literary form will then be read out loud to the Listener.

 

Borges's often wrote quirky literary "forgeries," for example, in the style of Emanuel Swedenborg or One Thousand and One Nights, originally claiming them to be translations of works he had chanced upon. At times he wrote reviews of nonexistent writings by some other person.  Several of these are gathered in his book, A Universal History of Infamy.

The philosophical term "Borgesian conundrum" is named after him and has been defined as the question of "whether the writer writes the story, or it writes him."

He became completely blind at the age of 55. He never learned braille and so became unable to read which may have helped him to create innovative literary symbols through imagination alone.

“You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.”



More information about Jorge Luis Borges can be found at Wikipedia and at The Modern Word and at The Poetry Foundation where you can read many of his poems online. You can read this interview with Borges in The Paris Review from 1967.

 

“Time is the substance I am made of.

Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river;

it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger;

it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

from "Labyrinths"

 

 


 “Of all man’s instruments, the most wondrous, no doubt, is the book.

The other instruments are extensions of his body.

The microscope, the telescope, are extensions of his sight;

the telephone is the extension of his voice;

then we have the plow and the sword, extensions of the arm.

But the book is something else altogether:

the book is an extension of memory and imagination.”


Saturday
Aug232014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Edgar Lee Masters, August 23

AUGUST 23, 2014

EDGAR LEE MASTERS (1868-1950)


Location:   Downtown Asheville NC

Time:         7:00pm - 11:00pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link

or near Wicked Weed & Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)

 

Passersby are invited to chose a poem randomly from this American poet, biographer and dramatist's, who though primarily known for Spoon River Anthology, his suite of poems about the richly imagined lives of the dead intered in the imagined small-town cemetery or imagined Spoon River, IL, in his lifetime also published twelve plays, twenty-one books of poetry, six novels and six biographies.

The passersby will be invited to choose a name randomly from the alphabetical contents of Spoon River Anthology, and then the corresponding poem will be read to them.

 

Masters in himself buried in Oakland cemetery in Petersburg, Illinois. His epitaph includes his poem, "To-morrow is My Birthday" from Toward the Gulf (1918):

Good friends, let’s to the fields…
After a little walk and by your pardon,
I think I’ll sleep, there is no sweeter thing.
Nor fate more blessed than to sleep.

I am a dream out of a blessed sleep-
Let’s walk, and hear the lark.

 

 

More information about Edgar Lee Masters can be found at Wikipedia and at the Academy of American Poets and at The Poetry Foundation. You can read all the Spoon River Anthology poems online here.

 

MINERVA JONES

I am Minerva, the village poetess,
Hooted at, jeered at by the Yahoos of the street
For my heavy body, cock-eye, and rolling walk,
And all the more when "Butch" Weldy
Captured me after a brutal hunt.
He left me to my fate with Doctor Meyers;
And I sank into death, growing numb from the feet up,
Like one stepping deeper and deeper into a stream of ice.
Will some one go to the village newspaper,
And gather into a book the verses I wrote?--
I thirsted so for love
I hungered so for life!

 

FIDDLER JONES

How could I till my forty acres
Not to speak of getting more,
With a medley of horns, bassoons and piccolos
Stirred in my brain by crows and robins
And the creak of a wind-mill--only these?
And I never started to plow in my life
That some one did not stop in the road
And take me away to a dance or picnic.
I ended up with forty acres;
I ended up with a broken fiddle--
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,
And not a single regret.

Friday
Aug222014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Ray Bradbury, August 22

AUGUST 22, 2014

RAY BRADBURY (1920-2012)


Location:   Downtown Asheville NC

Time:         1:30pm - 4:00pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)

 


Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of works by this American (self-described) fantasy writer and essayist, who wrote the groundbreaking anti-censorship book, Farenheit 451 (the temperature at which paper burns). The selection will then be read to them.

 

Bradbury never attended college. 

“I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.” 

 

“You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do—and they don’t. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don’t want to write like Henry James? They may like John Irving, for instance, who’s the bore of all time. A lot of the people whose work they’ve taught in the schools for the last thirty years, I can’t understand why people read them and why they are taught. The library, on the other hand, has no biases. The information is all there for you to interpret. You don’t have someone telling you what to think. You discover it for yourself.”

 

More information about Ray Bradbury can be found at Wikipedia and at a Ray Bradbury website devoted to his life and works.

 

 

"In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap opera cries, sleep walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction."

 

“I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can't really put a book on the Internet.


Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, 'If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we'll talk.' All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don't want to read manuscripts. They want to read books.


Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.”

 

 

Thursday
Aug212014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Joe Strummer, August 21

 

AUGUST 21, 2014

JOE STRUMMER (1950-2002)


Location: Downtown Asheville NC

7:30pm - 11:30pm

Near Wicked Weed & Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)



Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of song lyrics by this English lyricist, born John Graham Mellor, who was the lead singer of The Clash and The Mescaleros, as well as member of The 101ers, Lation Rockabilly War and (briefly) The Pogues. The selection will then be read to them.

 

 

 

 

The Clash was part of the orginal punk movement, but their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, and rockabilly, and their politicised lyrics, musical experimentation, and rebellious attitude had a far-reaching influence on rock, alternative rock in particular. Unlike many punk bands they were anti-racist and anit-war and wrote many songs about the threats to immigrants in the UK and the US.

 

 

 

On 20 May 1980, Strummer was arrested for hitting a violent member of the audience with his guitar during a performance in Hamburg, Germany. This incident shocked Strummer, and had a lasting personal impact on him: "I nearly murdered somebody, and it made me realise that you can't face violence with violence. It doesn't work."

More information about Joe Strummer can be found at Wikipedia and at Strummerville, the Joe Strummer New Music foundation website. You can find lyrics to Clash songs here, and lyrics to Mescaleros songs here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"This is a public service announcement
With guitar
Know your rights all three of them

Number 1
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a CRIME!
Unless it was done by a
Policeman or aristocrat
Know your rights

And Number 2
You have the right to food money
Providing of course you
Don't mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers
Rehabilitation

Know your rights
These are your rights
Hey say Wang

Know these rights

Number 3
You have the right to free
Speech as long as you're not
Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights
These are your rights
All three of 'em
It has been suggested
In some quarters that this is not enough!
Well ....... ...... ......

Get off the streets
Get off the streets
Run
You don't have a home to go to
Smush

Finally then I will read you your rights

You have the right to remain silent
You are warned that anything you say
Can and will be taken down
And used as evidence against you

Listen to this
Run"

 

 

"London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls

 

London calling, now don't look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain't got no swing
'Cept for the reign of that truncheon thing

 

The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running but I have no fear
'Cause London is burning and I live by the river"

 

 from The Clash song "London Calling"

 

Wednesday
Aug202014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: H.P. Lovecraft, August 20

AUGUST 20, 2014

H.P. LOVECRAFT (1890-1937)


Location: Downtown Asheville NC

from 6:00pm - 8:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link

from 9:00pm - 9:45pm

Near Orbit DVD & Westville Pub on Haywood Road in West Asheville map link

from 10:00pm - 11:30pm

At the Crow & Quill 106 N Lexington Ave map link

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of excerpts by this American master of the 20th-century horror genre who achieved postuhumous fame but had only published in pulp magazines and was virtually unkown when he died in poverty at age 46. The selection will then be read to them.

According to Joyce Carol Oates, H.P. (Howard Phillips) Lovecraft – as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century – has exerted "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction". Horror, fantasy, and science fiction author Stephen King called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale."

More information about H.P. Lovecraft can be found at Wikipedia and on a fan-supported HP Lovecraft site. You can read his works on line at this Dagonbytes site.

 

 

  "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age"


from "The Call of Cthulhu"


 

“Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."


(In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.)

 from "The Call of Cthuhu"

 

 


Tuesday
Aug192014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Ogden Nash, August 19 (Lunchtime reading)

AUGUST 19, 2014

OGDEN NASH (1902-1971)


Location: Downtown Asheville NC

from 1:00pm - 3:00pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link

 

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of verses by this American humorist poet. The selection will then be read to them.

More information about Ogden Nash can be found at Wikipedia. You can read some of his verses here.

 

 

 

Song of the Open Road 

 

I think that I shall never see

A billboard as lovely as a tree.

Perhaps unless the billboards fall,

I'll never see a tree at all.

 


 

The Cow 


The cow is of bovine ilk;

One end is moo, the other is milk. 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Aug192014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Frank McCourt, August 19 (Afternoon & Night reading)

 AUGUST 19, 2014

FRANK McCOURT (1930-2009)


Location: Downtown Asheville NC

from 4:00pm - 7:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link

from 9:00pm - 11:00pm

Near Jack of the Woods on Patton Ave map link


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this Brooklyn-born, Limerick-raised memoirist, whose book "Angela's Ashes" won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1996. The selection will then be read to them.

More information about Frank McCourt can be found at Wikipedia, and you can also read his obituary in The New York Times. You can listen to an interview with his brother Malachy following Frank's death.

And here is a clip of Frank reading from "Angela's Ashes".

 

 

 

"The master says it's a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it's a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there's anyone in the world who would like us to live. My brothers are dead and my sister is dead and I wonder if they died for Ireland or the Faith. Dad says they were too young to die for anything. Mam says it was disease and starvation and him never having a job. Dad says, Och, Angela, puts on his cap and goes for a long walk."

from "Angela's Ashes"

 

 

 

When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.  . . . nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years. Above all -- we were wet.

from "Angela's Ashes"


“After a full belly all is poetry.”

 

Monday
Aug182014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Paula Danziger, August 18

AUGUST 18, 2014

PAULA DANZIGER (1945-2004) 

 

Location: Downtown Asheville NC

from 4:00pm - 7:00pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link
or near Posana's in Pack Square  map link
 

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this American young adult fiction writer. The selection will then be read to them.

More information about Paula Danziger can be found at Wikipedia, and you can also read this interview with Danziber at the Scholastic Books website.

 

 

"I hate my father. I hate school. I hate being fat. I hate the principal because he wanted to fire Ms. Finney, my English teacher.

My name is Marcy Lewis. I'm thirteen years old and in the ninth grade at Dwight D. Eisenhower Junior High.

All my life I've thought that I looked like a baby blimp with wire-frame glasses and mousy brown hair. Everyone always said that I'd grow out of it, but I was convinced that I'd become an adolescent blimp with wire-frame glasses, mousy brown hair, and acne.

My life is not easy. I know I'm not poor. Nobody beats me. I have clothes to wear, my own room, a stereo, a TV, and a push-button phone. Sometimes I feel guilty being so miserable, but middle-class kids have problems too.

from "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit"


Well, I, Amber Brown, am green with envy. I am not only green….. I am feeling blue….. I am seeing red….. I am purple with anger….. I am not feeling like a rainbow. I am feeling plaid. All of these colors mix together to make a not very pretty pattern. I, Amber Brown, do not like plaid.

from "Amber Brown Is Green With Envy"

Sunday
Aug172014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Ted Hughes, August 17

AUGUST 17, 2014

TED HUGHES (1930-1998) 

 

Location: Downtown Asheville NC

from 2:30pm - 3:00pm

Near Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center 56 Broadway St map link


from 3:15pm - 5:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of poems by this Englsih poet and children's writer, National Poet Laureate from 1984 till his death. The poem will then be read to them.

Hughes was ranked fourth on the 2008 Times list of the "50 Greatest British writers since 1945". His writing career was often upstaged by his marriage to Sylvia Plath and her subsequent suicide, after which he wrote in a letter to an old friend of Plath's: "That's the end of my life. The rest is posthumous."

More information about Ted Hughes can be found at Wikipedia, and at The Poetry Foundation website. You can also read this interview with Hughes in The Paris Review.  Hughes poetry and other writing can be read online at this link.

 

LINEAGE

In the beginning was Scream
Who begat Blood
Who begat Eye
Who begat Fear
Who begat Wing
Who begat Bone
Who begat Granite
Who begat Violet
Who begat Guitar
Who begat Sweat
Who begat Adam
Who begat Mary
Who begat God
Who begat Nothing
Who begat Never
Never Never Never

Who begat Crow

Screaming for Blood
Grubs, crusts
Anything

Trembling featherless elbows in the nest's filth

 

Sunday
Aug172014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Charles Bukowski, August 16 - "After Hours"

AUGUST 16, 2014

CHARLES BUKOWSKI (1920-1994) 

 

Location: Downtown Asheville NC

from 9:30PM - 1:00AM

Near Wicked Weed and Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link

 

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer, who was called by Time the "poet laureate of L.A. lowlife", and was born Heinrich Karl Bukowski. The selection will then be read to them.

Adam Kirsch in The New Yorker wrote that "the secret of Bukowski's appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero."

More information about Charles Bukowski can be found at Wikipedia, and a Bukowski website and at The Poetry Foundation which has links to many of his poems.

 

 

 

 

“when Whitman wrote, “I sing the body electric”
I know what he
meant
I know what he
wanted:

to be completely alive every moment
in spite of the inevitable.

we can’t cheat death but we can make it
work so hard
that when it does take
us

it will have known a victory just as
perfect as
ours”

 

"I have always admired the villain, the outlaw, the son of a bitch. I don't like the clean-shaven boy with the necktie and the good job. I like desperate men, men with broken teeth and broken minds and broken ways. They interest me. They are full of surprises and explosions. I also like vile women, drunk cursing bitches with loose stockings and
sloppy mascara faces. I'm more interested in perverts than saints. I can relax with
bums because I am a bum. I don't like laws, morals, religions, rules. I don't like to be
shaped by society.”


 


Sunday
Aug172014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Diana Wynne Jones, August 16 "Family Time"

AUGUST 16, 2014

DIANA WYNNE JONES (1934-2011) 

 

Location: Downtown Asheville NC

from 6:00pm - 9:00pm

At Shindig on the Green (on the South Side of the green near Pack's Tavern)  map link

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


 

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of poems by this English children's fantasy writer, whose early works the Harry Potter books are widely compared to as having been their model. The selection  will then be read to them.

Jones was recognized by the The British Fantasy Society for her significant impact on fantasy with its occasional Karl Edward Wagner Award in 1999, and she received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007. She was a fierce advocate for the cause of women writers in the children's fantasy and science fiction genres, noting when she received her award: "When I first started getting work published, I used to have wistful thoughts at the way all important awards were given to men. Women, I used to think, could be as innovative, imaginative and productive as possible - and women were the ones mostly at work in the field of fantasy for children and young adults - but only let a man enter the field, and people instantly regarded what he had to say and what he did as more Important. He got respectful reviews as well as awards, even if what he was doing - which it often was - was imitating the women. But you have changed all that. Thank you for being so enlightened."

More information about Diana Wynne Jones can be found at Wikipedia, and at her official website. Here is her obituary in The Guardian.

 

Meanwhile a certain amount of moaning and groaning was coming from upstairs. Sophie kept muttering to the dog and ignored it. A loud, hollow coughing followed, dying away into more moaning. Crashing sneezes followed the coughing, each one rattling the window and all the doors. Sophie found those harder to ignore, but she managed. Poot-pooooot! went a blown nose, like a bassoon in a tunnel. The coughing started again, mingled with moans. Sneezes mixed with the moans and the coughs, and the sounds rose to a crescendo in which Howl seemed to be managing to cough, groan, blow his nose, sneeze, and wail gently all at the same time. The doors rattled, the beams in the ceiling shook, and one of Calcifer’s logs rolled off onto the hearth.
   

“All right, all right, I get the message!” Sophie said, dumping the log back into the grate. “It’ll be green slime next”.

from "Howl's Moving Castle"

Saturday
Aug162014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Wallace Thurman, August 16

AUGUST 16, 2014

WALLACE THURMAN (1902-1934) 

 

Location: Downtown Asheville NC

4:00pm - 5:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or in Triangle Park @ Sycamore St & Spruce St map link visual link


(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this American novelist, active during the Harlem Renaissance period between WWI and the Great Depression, who was also a journalist, essayist and publisher of independent newspapers and literary journals. The selection will then be read to them.

Thurman is best known for his novel The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life (1929), which explores discrimination within the black community based on darkness and lightness of skin color.

 

His other novel, Infants of the Spring (1932) was a razorsharp satire of the Harlem Renaissance and the often overly idealized picture that was painted of it. This roman clef centers on life in "Niggeratti Manor," based on a Harlem rooming house where Thurman had lived with other black artists and writers.

More information about Wallace Thurman can be found at Wikipedia, at Black Past and at Gay For Today, a site honoring the often unknown historical cultural contribution of gay men.  The entire text of The Blacker the Berry can be found here. And a selection of Infants of the Spring can be read here.

 

 

 

 Fire!! A Quarterly Devoted to the Younger Negro Artists
Wallace Thurman
New York: November 1926

 

 

FIRE . . . flaming, burning, searing, and penetrating far beneath the superficial items of the flesh to boil the sluggish blood.


FIRE . . . a cry of conquest in the night, warning those who sleep and revitalizing those who linger in the quiet places dozing.


FIRE . . . melting steel and iron bars, poking livid tongues between stone apertures and burning wooden opposition with a cackling chuckle of contempt.


FIRE . . . weaving vivid, hot designs upon an ebon bordered loom and satisfying pagan thirst for beauty unadorned . . . the flesh is sweet and real . . . the soul an inward flush of fire. . . . Beauty? . . . flesh on fire - on fire in the furnace of life blazing. . . .

 

"Fy-ah,

Fy-ah, Lawd,

Fy-ah gonna burn ma soul!”


 (this poem was co-written with Langston Hughes)


Friday
Aug152014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Stieg Larsson, August 15

AUGUST 15, 2014

STIEG LARSSON (1950-2004) 

 

Location: Downtown Asheville NC

3:00pm - 5:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link
 

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this Swedish journalist, novelist and feminist, the author of the internationally renowned detective novel "Millenium series" trilogy featuring hacker anti-heroine Lisbeth Salander. The selection will then be read to them.

All of Larsson's books were published after his sudden death from a heart attack in 2004.

More information about Stieg Larsson can be found at Wikipedia, and at both an official website and an unofficial website dedicated to his work

 

 

 

 

"Salander leaned back against the pillow and followed the conversation with a smile. She wondered why she, who had such difficulty talking about herself with people of flesh and blood, could blithely reveal her most intimate secrets to a bunch of completely unknown freaks on the Internet."

from "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"

 

 “Much stronger boys in her class soon learned that it could be quite unpleasant to fight with that skinny girl. Unlike other girls in the class, she never backed down, and she would not for a second hesitate to use her fists or any weapon at hand to protect herself. She went around with the attitude that she would rather be beaten to death than take any shit.”

from "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"


Thursday
Aug142014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: John Galsworthy, August 14

AUGUST 14, 2014

JOHN GALSWORTHY (1867-1933)

 

Location: Downtown Asheville NC

6:30pm - 9:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link
 

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


 

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this Nobel Prize for Literature winning British novelist and playwright who specialized in the (ironic) saga form: trilogies of non-herioic Edwardian upper-middle class society. The selection will then be read to them.

Galsworthy was a great and very influential advocate of social causes including prison reform, labor rights, women's rights, animal welfare, and challenges to the class system, suffocating moral codes, and censorship. He turned down a knightship but accepted the Order of Merit.

 

 

More information about John Galsworthy can be found at Wikipedia and the PBS Masterpiece Theater website. You can read his plays and novels online at the Project Guttenberg site. 

And you can watch a scene from the Masterpiece series, The Forsyte Saga, right here!

 

 

 

“His natural taciturnity was in his favour; nothing could be more calculated to give people, especially people with property (Soames had no other clients), the impression that he was a safe man. And he was safe. [...] How could he fall, when his soul abhorred circumstances which render a fall possible - a man cannot fall off the floor!”

from "A Man of Property"

( the first volume of "The Forsyte Saga")


Thursday
Aug142014

At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Walter Dean Myers, August 12

AUGUST 12, 2014

WALTER DEAN MYERS (1931-2014) 

 

Location: New York City

4:30pm - 7:00pm

At the Bank Street Bookstore map link

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


 

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this American young adult and picture book author, who was nominated for the National Book Award 3 times, the Coretta Scott King Award 5 times, and was named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature (sort of the poet laureate of children's writing) in 2012. The selection will then be read to them.

More information about Walter Dean Myers can be found at Wikipedia, and at a website dedicated to his life and work. You can read his obituary in The New York Times here. And a 2012 New York Times interview here. Shortly before he died, he wrote a heartfelt editorial article in the The New York Times: "Where are the books for children of color?"

 

  Walter Dean Myers as a young boy “We’re suggesting that [kids are] missing something if they don’t read but, actually, we’re condemning kids to a lesser life. If you had a sick patient, you would not try to entice them to take their medicine. You would tell them, ‘Take this or you’re going to die.’ We need to tell kids flat out: reading is not optional.”

 

 

 

On the streets of the city
They have taken my Who-I-Am
As well as my What-I-Was
And now I am desperate for them both
Again
 

                         from "Street Love"

 

 

 

 Celebrating Walter Dean Myers' birthday by reading his book Hoops

chosen by a passerby from the Menu of his works

in front of the Bank Street Bookstore, Upper West Side NYC

 August 12, 2014