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Monday, September 29, 2008

Fundraiser for THE NATURE OF WORDS

Ales for Authors!

Enjoy great beer, catch some open mic performances and support The Nature of Words at "Ales for Authors" this Wednesday, October 1, at Bend's Silver Moon Brewing. The evening's $3.00 cover charge will go to benefit Central Oregon's premier literary festival, scheduled for November 5-9, 2008. Local slam poet Jason Graham will emcee the Open Mic from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Silver Moon Brewing is located at 24 NW Greenwood Avenue.)

Camalli Book Co. will definitely be there! Come on out and hear about The Nature of Words 2008, featuring eight guest authors, including Patricia Smith, four-time national individual poetry slam champion. The author roster also includes Ursula K. Le Guin, icon of the science fiction and fantasy genre; Craig Childs, adventure travel writer and desert ecologist; Charles Bowden, journalist and essayist who writes about the environment and social issues along the U.S.-Mexico border; Luis Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize nominee whose dual-culture heritage influences his themes in fiction and literary non-fiction; Ekiwah Adler-Belendez, 19-year old poet prodigy from Mexico; Pam Houston, award-winning short story writer and novelist; and Judith Barrington, internationally known poet and memoirist.

Bring your own work to share at the Open Mic, or just come to listen and learn about The Nature of Words.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Monday Night Book Club - 9/29, 6:00 p.m.

As always, procrastination wins and I'm once again rushing to finish the book club selection for this month. But reading Ursula LeGuin's LAVINIA has been a treat. Lavinia comes from Virgil's (or Vergil's, depending on your source) 2000-year-old epic poem THE AENEID, where she is given ever-so-brief treatment and truly does not speak a word (though, her hair does catch fire most impressively). Lavinia is the daughter of King Latinus, and a plethora of men are doomed to die over who will eventually marry her. Her eventual marriage to Aeneas (after whom, of course, the epic is titled) signals the founding of the Roman race.

LeGuin weaves a story that imagines Lavinia's life as a young girl, her courting by that asshole Turnus, her eventual marriage to Aeneas--which leads to the war between the Trojans and the Latins--and on to the end of her life.

I do like feminine takes on old tales ... such as Marion Zimmer Bradley's MISTS OF AVALON ... but LAVINIA is more than a "feminist" tale. As one reviewer stated: "The three characters [Lavinia, Latinus, Aeneas] together embody the Roman belief in fate as it relates to the virtue of pietas (dutifulness, spiritual awareness, a deep listening for and acceptance of the truth at the heart of the matter)." It is a novel for anyone interested in classic mythology, and of course for anyone fascinated by the story of the Trojan War.

I don't think having read THE AENEID is essential, but it would certainly enrich the experience. For a translation, I'd suggest Robert Fagles's, which is now out in paperback.

ANYWAY ... book club discussion Monday night (9/29) at the store at 6:00. Wine flows freely, of course.