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California Literary ReviewJanuary 2009 | California Literary Review California Literary Review

Archive for January, 2009

Kentucky Clay, Eleven Generations of a Southern Dynasty by Katherine Bateman

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Judith
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Harris

January 29th, 2009

“In the South, stories are the effervescence of conversation, and no stories are more gripping to an audience—relatives and stranger alike—than those about family.”

Erskine Childers and The Riddle of the Sands

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Brett F.
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Woods

January 27th, 2009

Set against the backdrop of a yachting trip to the German coast, the story weds a tale of adventure with the reality of Britain’s imperial overreach thus beginning a genre that – as continued by the likes of Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, and John le Carré – has matured into one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the literate world.

The Irish Americans: A History by Jay P. Dolan

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Elinor
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Teele

January 25th, 2009

America’s love affair with all things Irish – with J.F.K. and seedy bars in “The Departed,” with pure toned women in glaring-green dresses and fire-engine curls, with tales of New York firemen, Boston policemen and roguish politicians (Joe Biden is the first of four in an Irish Catholic family, though I know not if he is roguish) – is the culmination of three hundred years of complicated, contradictory and sometimes bitter, history.

Follow the California Literary Review on Twitter

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Mike
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January 22nd, 2009

Readers can now receive our latest postings through our new Twitter account, calitreview.

Frederick Burr Opper’s Happy Hooligan

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Elinor
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Teele

January 22nd, 2009

Viewed in retrospect, post-Depression, however, he acquires a special poignancy. Here was a man who was only ever trying to help, never asking for favors, loved by children, and here was a society intent on beating him down. The line between comedy and tragedy is a fine one, and Hooligan’s lines were pretty fine.

The Paintings of Tom Palmore

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Mike
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January 20th, 2009

“There are a handful of original wildlife artists and the rest are members of the ‘elk in the meadow’ or ‘moose in the water’ schools. We are all influenced by society and by history, but you have to take those examples, put them through your own filter and make them your own.”

All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky

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Julia
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Braun Kessler

January 18th, 2009

How might we doubt that any long dead, wholly forgotten writer, who has re-emerged and within a few short years risen to a second round of best-sellerdom with three newly-discovered novels is a truly remarkable craftsman? Irene Nemirovsky first came to our attention in 2004, sixty years after her demise at the hands of the Nazis in Auschwitz, when a novel of hers was found “buried” within her journal entries.

Dear President-Elect Obama, We Need Trains, Too!

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Peter
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Bridges

January 15th, 2009

President-elect Obama said in his radio address on Saturday, January 10, that “We’ll put nearly 400,000 people to work by repairing our infrastructure–our crumbling roads, bridges and schools.” What about our passenger train system, that lags sadly behind other developed countries–and is far worse than what Americans enjoyed decades ago?

Nothing to Be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes

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David
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Loftus

January 13th, 2009

“For me, death is the one appalling fact which defines life; unless you are constantly aware of it, you cannot begin to understand what life is about; unless you know and feel that the days of wine and roses are limited, that the wine will madeirize and the roses turn brown in their stinking water before all are thrown out forever—including the jug—there is no context to such pleasures and interests as come your way on the road to the grave.”

X-ray Photographs of David Arky

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Mike
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January 12th, 2009

Duane Michals expressed it well when he said, “Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.” An inner life is uncovered in the nature of x-ray photography and in the nature of the subjects.

Quarrel with the King by Adam Nicolson

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Ed
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Voves

January 11th, 2009

Nicolson concludes his reflections by noting that “the custom of the manor” believed “to an extent the modern world can scarcely grasp, in the rights of the community as a living organism.”

Stephen Baker Discusses The Numerati

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Mike
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January 7th, 2009

“The Internet, of course, is a huge source of data. Every click and keystroke can be analyzed. Every movement we make with our cell phone produces data about our location, every call on the phone describes our circle of contacts. Credit cards paint our portraits as consumers. Growing numbers of security cameras track our movements in stores and city streets.”

Amarcord: Marcella Remembers by Marcella Hazan

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David
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Lida

January 6th, 2009

If we are what we eat, then Marcella Hazan, the author of what are often recognized as the best six Italian cookbooks ever published in English, has been writing her autobiography since 1973. That is the year when The Classic Italian Cookbook, her first effort, saw the light of day. Thirty-five years later, with increasingly sophisticated recipe books, restaurants and food industries in the United States, it is hard to remember how groundbreaking Hazan’s work has been.

Black River Falls, Wisconsin, 1893: News Reports and Photos from Wisconsin Death Trip

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Mike
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January 5th, 2009

Tramps who were refused food at the home of John Ovenbeck in the town of Friendship, Winnebego County, entered the barn at night and cut the throats of 3 cows, which bled to death. A card attached to the horns of one bore the following message: ‘Remember us when we call for something to eat again’

Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by James M. McPherson

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Peter
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Bridges

January 4th, 2009

Lincoln came to the Presidency without any real military experience. He had been an Illinois militia captain in the Black Hawk War of 1832 but as he said in self-deprecation to his fellow Members of Congress in 1848, his combat record amounted to “charges upon the wild onions” and “a good many struggles with the musketoes.”

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