Friday, January 11

William Trevor has a good (of course) short story in the New Yorker. It's called Justina's Priest. Read it and interpret it for me. Is Trevor saying that's all that's left for religion is the simple-minded, or is there something more generous in there?
Here's a deal for you, that I discovered in Barnes and Noble today. It's a small collection of out-of-print children's books called Lost Treasures, put out by Volo books, which is an imprint of Hyperion. (breathe.) There are only 6 books so far , and they're not ancient classics - mostly dating from the 60's through the mid-70's (with one originally printed in 1942.) No, not unusual, but here's what is: they're $1.99 apiece. Even the clerk did a doubletake when she rang up The Kellyhorns for Katie. Hard to pass up a bargain like that
Took Katie and Joseph to see Jimmy Neutron:Boy Genius, and I have to say it was a whole lot better than I expected. A bare minimum of crude humor (why there has to be any at all is beyond me), very creative and entertaining animation (space ships constructed out of amusement park rides), and a nice little theme: the parents have been abducted by aliens, the kids initially rejoice, then all realize "I want my mommy!" (and daddy), and then set out to rescue them. I thought the script had some very witty moments and the voices were very well realized - I particularly liked Carl, the soft-spoken, rather clueless heavy kid whose Show-and-Tell item is his asthma inhaler. (Don't worry - it's not a negative. The inhaler comes in handy later).

In his review, Roger Ebert remarked,

It doesn't have the little in-jokes that make "Shrek" and "Monsters, Inc." fun for grown-ups.

but I have to say that I'm pretty weary of all the in-jokes directed at grown-ups that have been the bane of animated films since Robin Williams' turn as a genie in Aladdin. I'm all for irony-free entertainment for the kids, myself.

An interesting article about a current exhibit in New York:

"Religious Images in 19th Century Academic Art" is a show that has gotten almost no attention from the critical community in New York since it opened last October because it would appear to be completely out of touch with what has been going on in the art world since the advent of Impressionism and all the others art isms that followed. The New York Times kissed it off as "worth a walk through."

It is worth more than that, for it demonstrates that even in a secular age like the 19th century, ushered in by the anti-clerical French Revolution, there were plenty of defenders of the faith courageous enough to produce religious art in new styles and using new subject matter.

Incidentally, I happen to have a print - lithograph - something, who knows (I don't) of the last piece described in the article, "The Missionary's Adventure."

A nice fit, wouldn't you say?

Maya Angelou and Hallmark. She's writing cards and providing aphorisms for various decorative products, as well. Here's a sample:

The Glorious Banquet Bowl, costing $24.99, says "Life is a glorious banquet, a limitless and delicious buffet."

Now that's poetry.

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