Literature Event: Fort Collins Book Festival

To the Almagre community; the Fort Collins Book Festival is going on October 21st, which is a Saturday. Events start Friday night, and Saturday has author meet and greets, speakers, and great opportunities to meet other book lovers. The theme is based around music. It’ll be fun. We’ll be there too. Mark it on the calendar. There’s an incredible lineup of musicians and writers, including Loudon Wainwright III.

Speaking of music; don’t forget that submissions for Issue 4, Language & Music, is October 15th. Get that poem in. Get that drawing in. Send us your best fiction and prose. Our doors are still open.

AR (La Revista Bookmark)

 

Why We Write: 1

The question reminds me of Nabokov, who having written Lolita, experienced the relentless question, “Why did you write that book,” or, “What is it about?” Of course, audiences and critics had their own ideas.

Nabokov tired of other people telling him what the story was about–explaining that he wrote Lolita simply to “participate in the ecstatic.” When we discuss relationships between a creative work and an individual, we describe the relationship in many ways: perhaps joy, or offense, a profoundly spiritual feeling…or simply fun! Maybe a creative work goes unregistered. Ah! The unrequited…

But for those who are creative…painters, sculptors, musicians, writers! We understand Nabokov’s words–Ecstasy, experienced during the act of creation. Over the years, I can’t recall a Creative at work who wore the face of serenity. Rather, to me, it always looks like an expression of concentration sourced through meaning. One is precisely where they ought to be during the act.

Christopher Hitchens once advised an audience about this very notion. According to him, a writer writes not because he wants to, but because he has to. For writers, this is obvious. There is something inside us, and it must come out. To hold it inside is to take a vow of celibacy. Writers who don’t write, (painters who don’t paint, musicians who won’t play, etc.), are living a celibate lifestyle.

Back to Nabokov. Anyone who has spent time involved in artistic creation knows the feeling. Ecstasy. I find over the years that writing becomes no less arduous. In fact, it seems to become harder. Words are more carefully chosen, phrases more measured, plotting instincts subjected to increased scrutiny.

But the magic happens. With the blessing of the “muse,” we roll into another region of the mind. The turbid, whirling mass behind the wall of conscious and conscientious manners, of deliberate and logical thinking, becomes accessible. It’s quite extraordinary. Powerful. And, it is the bringer of fervent artistic creation along with its accompanying devils: doubt, fear, self-abuse. We must deal with these in the aftermath. In the tempest, however, is the ecstasy Nabokov refers to where what had seemed impossible becomes more than that…it becomes inevitable. The universe of a novel or painting or album pulls together of its own volition, because the mass and inertia is too large for one person to do it deliberately. But somehow it happens–the universe briefly organizes, the impossible has become inevitable–and only because the artist has become the medium for that volition.

Afterwards…we beg off for awhile, collect ourselves, and begin again the process of inviting the muse.

Uro-bureaus
Uro-bureaus

Announcing the Theme for Issue 4: Language & Music

Issue #3, Environment, is coming together. Today, we’re revealing the theme for issue #4, LANGUAGE & MUSIC, which will appear at the bottom half of 2017.

What are we looking for? Well, language is music, que no? Send us an original poem in french, with the english translation to accompany it. Send us a brief memoir in spanish to appear beside its english transcript. Or… a caption in farsi. Why? Because the script of a language might simply look musical to the uninitiated. Interested in fiction? Share a story about a Delta blues musician, a college music major, or a Senegalese rapper. A poem might double as a song lyric. The point is, language and music in this issue will be explored in relation to each other. To speak is to carve air. To pluck a guitar is to pattern it. Make us fall in love with the melody in your prose.

As always, surprise us with your original best. The privilege is ours! Questions, email John or Joe @ larevistaalmagre@outlook.com

taos-farsi-script
from the Divan, -Hafiz