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Dear All,

long time no see, as they say every now and then in anime. After the prolonged break, the Club gathered with our minds still lazily digesting the stuff that came our way during Easter and the long weekend.

Firstly, we exchanged our impressions from the April Conference that so viciously thwarted our plans last week. In fact, it turned out enriching to suck in the knowledge about eighteenth-century enigmas, Romantic aesthetics, Possible Worlds theory, the obsessions of Ishiguro characters, Australian sophisticated outback ("Such is Life", J. Furphy), and a variety of other topics. The chief value of such conferences is that you get to hear about things you never thought about, and probably would never have, but for some scholar, who was kind enough to share. Next such a chance - in three years!

Further on, we discussed our April in terms of books. Surprisingly, we managed to squeeze into our busy schedules a number of books, of different ilk. The prominent presences were Jason's comic book "Shhhh!..." and Dick's "Maze of Death". Both try to tackle the uncanny in the life of men, specifically the problem of death. Jason's haunting pictures, like a silent movie, take us into an existential world demanding deep contemplation. Dick guides us on the borders of hard-boiled sci-fi, looking through "lenses and learning" (to use Mickiewicz's celebrated phrase) at the supernatural.

Lastly, we commented on the Pulitzer Prizes, awarded on the 18th of April. We were largely disappointed with the choices. The books that were chosen seem to reflect specifically American problems, which do not relate perfectly well with our European reality. The books on Abe Lincoln, Washington or acrimonious humour of Norris address the problems of racisim and go back in time to the essence of the Americans. Clearly, America "needs a hero". The biography of cancer brings up yet again the problem of this illness (we had the same motif in, e.g. Costa Awards). The motif of decomposition, death and decay seems really all-pervading this year. Even "A Visit from the Goon Squad" takes up the problems of the passage of time, fragmentation and violence. The same goes for Dickinson-like poetry winner, Kay Ryan (though personally I enjoy her succint form and clear images).

A lot of side comments were made, reflecting the diversity of our experiences of the last weeks. Disillusionment resounded, and a sense of certain overload of the mind, although we were fresh from the breaks. In two weeks time, though, we expect to look more on the bright side of things.

With this, let me wish you good fun in May!

środa, 04 maja 2011, merryminstrel

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