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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Archive for March, 2012

March 2012 in Black Lamb

Volume 10, Number 3 — March 2012

March 1st, 2012

In Once is not enough, Ed Goldberg reflects on remakes in the worlds of music and film. Greg Roberts tells why he has given up feeding birds and tending his garden in Backyard pacifist. In Fly me to the moon, John M. Daniel tells of his job as a young man in Los Angeles, and of meeting the rich and famous.

Elizabeth Fournier examines the Vatican’s efforts to go green in Pope mobile. In Whatever happened to global warming? Toby Tompkins offers himself as a candidate for president of the United States. In Author intervention, author invention, Lane Browning insists that her admiration for David Long’s writing will not change even though the author is a jerk. Jessica Ferri reviews Alan Hollinghurst’s novel The Stranger’s Child in Brief, lusty life of a poet. In The greatest book you’ve never heard of, Brad Bigelow reviews Benito Pérez Galdós’s monumental novel Fortunata and Jacinta: Two Stories of Married Women, first published in 1887.

Our Honorary Black Lambs column welcomes two more writers to our pantheon with pocket biographies and bibliographies of poet James Merrill and novelist Philip Roth. Our Wretched Excess column calls attention to the myriad varieties of medications for erectile dysfunction and the ubiquity of the mugs of Bono and Ali. Millicent Marshall attacks the American electoral process. And Professor Avram Khan proffers another challenging word puzzle.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Month summaries | Link to this Entry

Once is not enough

Is what's worth doing worth re-doing?

March 1st, 2012

BY ED GOLDBERG

One more time!
— Count Basie, not for the first time

I once wrote a throwaway bit for a radio show I was doing. It was a phony underwriter, the Once Is Not Enough Café, specializing in twice-baked potatoes, double-cooked pork, and refried beans. Once was enough for that one, because I couldn’t come up with any more examples of food done twice.

In my distant youth, the “do-over” had an honorable place on the sandlots and schoolyards. If there was an unresolvable dispute between two teams, you did a do-over, ran the play over. It was an article of faith, back when I still had some, that the do-over would set things right. It was considered good sportsmanship to accept the result without (much) grumbling. Gloating was very rare, and looked on as bad form. Would that the world ran on the moral tracks of sandlot baseball.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Goldberg | Link to this Entry

Author intervention, author invention

March 1st, 2012

BY LANE BROWNING

“Wasn’t there supposed to be beer?” he asked, way too loudly, addressing no one at all. “I was told there’d be beer.”

He was dissolute. He was disheveled. He was obstreperous.

He was not godlike.

This was after his tepid reading before the assembled three dozen of us, after he’d rambled his way through a novel in progress, a novel that to my mind had only one decent line in it. He was a lousy reader, rarely looked up, didn’t emote, sniffed and gargled a lot, wasn’t riveting. He wasn’t even the focal reader at the event, and kept toadying up to the woman who was.

Earlier that day, when I’d learned that the author of one of my top-five-most-admired-pieces-of-short-fiction would be speaking a half-hour from my house, I was awash with excitement. I’d seen another much admired writer, and his talk was buttery and buoying and witty and articulate and transporting. So this chance I would not miss. David Long. David Long, whose collection Blue Spruce holds an honored spot on my bookshelf. With one particular chunk exalted.

And here he was, this ghoul of a pretender. I know about the disconnect between icons and authenticity. I know that the celebrity is not necessarily his/her public persona. But this? This was about the creative arts, not about facial symmetry or beautiful singing. This was about the words and the brain, and his banal presentation and shitty attitude were disorienting.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Books and Authors, Browning | Link to this Entry

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