Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

2006 Nobel Prize Awards Ceremony

Monday, 11 December 2006; 11:45

We have all heard of dumb geniuses, right? Well, you will probably not find many such persons among this year’s cadre of Nobel Prize winners. But also, the Nobel Prize committee is not so dumb as not to recognize a changing of the guard online. And just what is meant by that?

Instead of the usual boring fare previously found at the Nobel Prize web site, with one notable exception highlighted here several months ago, we now have an on-demand video presentation of the 2006 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony. And at only 71 minutes long, they must have limited the recipients’ time to make their acceptance speeches. (Are any as good as William Faulkner’s acceptance address for the literature award in 1950?) Surely, there had to be more hot air in the Stockholm Concert Hall than that. On the other hand, the relatively short length just might inspire a few future Nobel laureates to have a look at the pomp and circumstance surrounding one of the world’s most valued awards.

Home page:  Nobel Prize
Home page:  Nobel Week 2006 (for more multimedia content)

Alfred Nobel
Photograph of Alfred Nobel

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Trudell the Movie (John Trudell)

Thursday, 3 August 2006; 12:32

Bob Dylan referred to [John] Trudell’s spoken word/rock and roll album AKA Graffiti Man as the ‘best album of 1995.’ Northwest Native activist Janet McCloud referred to Trudell as .. one of the greatest poets of all time.” Kris Kristoferson referred to him as “a lone wolf.” Not only a profound orator, he is a significant political figure in the more recent history of the Indian people’s movement.

“Crazy Horse, we hear what you say. One earth, one mother…. One does not sell the earth…. How do we sell our mother?” ~John Trudell, Crazy Horse

Who is John Trudell? You may not know who he is, but in addition to the persons mentioned above, Angelina Jolie knows him well enough to be the executive producer of his recent recording of Native American music, Bone Days, featuring cuts such as Crazy Horse. Jackson Browne knows him to the extent that he has produced many of Trudell’s other recordings. He is also friends with Sam Shepard, Val Kilmer, and Wilma Mankiller (former tribal chief of my other nation, the Cherokee Nation). In other words, how is it possible that you do not know of him?

John Trudell also has a movie, Trudell the Movie. Broaden your American culture horizons and take a few moments to view the trailer. (Look for Watch Trailer in the lower-right of your screen.) Also click on Multimedia for additional film clips, some of which did not make it into the final cut, and a few clips of his music.

In fact, you will find the song, Crazy Horse, in its entirety there. It contains a line that reminds me of a question posed by one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda. In his The Book of Questions, Neruda asks, “Does smoke talk to the clouds?”

Home page: John Trudell
Home page: Trudell the Movie

Addendum: John Trudell is a great songwriter. After you have listened, each of his songs at the movie’s web site can be culled from your Temporary Internet Files folder as full-length MP3s.

John Trudell - Bone Days graphic

“A Europe of Tales”

Tuesday, 23 May 2006; 10:14

Do you wish to know how the thunder-god Thor recaptured his hammer? The Icelandic version of the tale can be found in The Poem of Thrym. Or, maybe you might like to know of The Maiden Stone of Bennachie, a mythic story from Scotland. And buying tangentially into all the hoopla surrounding The Da Vinci Code, maybe you would like to learn about The Black Madonna, as told in Italy.

Those stories and tales, and others from across Europe, are all found at A Europe of Tales. Sit down at the computer with your kids and broaden both your own horizons and theirs. These stories and tales have been around a very long time, often for lessons about life still applicable to the present.

J. L. Runeberg (Finnish poet)

Tuesday, 23 May 2006; 9:37

Simply enjoy the beautiful poetry and web site of J. L. Runeberg, the national poet of Finland. Personally, I find excellent poetry not unlike great music–both are universal languages and one need not know the words being spoken or sung to recognize the beauty contained within.

(This one is especially for Distillery reader, Zen Realist. Thanks for dropping me the e-mail, Zen. You are becoming a much-appreciated inspiration.)

Graphic of J. L. Runeberg