Devil in Harry / Free Books / Nye on Poetry / Gilbert & Slate Finalists / Writers at a Glimpse

September 2, 2006

The Devil Is in the Potter
According to the Vatican’s chief exorcist, the devil is in the Harry Porter, and so the vigilant Father Gabriele Amorth condemned J.K. Rowling’s wizard as evil. (Several years ago, I was coaching basketball teams for a Catholic grammar school. The kids came up with a name and logo for their teams—the Wizards. It was nixed by the principal.)
The Sidney Morning Herald also reminds us that great thinker Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—now Pope—described the impish Potter as a “potentially corrupting influence.” Lynne Hume and Kathleen McPhillip edited a several of academic essays, stating that Medieval myths, comics, and fantasy superseded religious text in the popular mind set.

Google’s Free Books
Soon you will be able to download classic novels—those in the public domain—from Googles Book Search service, even though the service remains in BETA, meaning being tested. The plan calls for individuals to download the book as a PDF file (Acrobat).

Nye Talks with Hirschfield at WRMEA
“Why are we so monumentally slow / Soldiers stalk a pharmacy: / big guns, little pills. / If you tilt your head just slightly / It’s ridiculous.” As Robert Hirschfield reminds us in this essay from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Then I heard: And did those feet in ancient time / Walk upon England’s mountains green? / And was the holy Lamb of God / On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
I wonder what Blake would have asked Nye, who was born in St. Louis more than half a century ago.

Gilbert and Slate Finalists for LM Poetry Prize
The Academy of American Poets has selected Jack Gilbert and Ron Slate as finalists for its $25,000 Lenore Marshall Prize. Past recipients include Philip Levine, Sterling A. Brown, Adrienne Rich, Thom Gunn, W.S. Merwin, Marilyn Hacker, and Charles Wright. The academy accepts submissions between April 1st and June 15th. Slate is featured on a podcast at the Houghton Mifflin Web site.

A Glimpse at Writers
Jane Ciabattari talks with Lily Brett at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor, NY. Meanwhile William Hamilton talks with Edward P. Jones (author of the Pulitzer-wining The Known World) and his territory, called Washington DC. And Laura Miller talks about the eminence of style in regards to Marisha Pessl’s
Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

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