Sunday, May 31, 2009

BEA, part I

Yesterday I visited Book Expo America here in Manhattan. With so much distress in the economy generally, and within the publishing industry specifically, I was pleased to find BEA relatively crowded and the mood fairly upbeat. As several industry veterans told me, this year "it's all about the books," meaning less focus on gimmicky giveaways and over-the-top hype. I felt this as well, having attended or worked several BEAs, and many other trade shows.

Some quick, initial impressions, wholly idiosyncratic of course, and broken into three posts for your convenience (and mine!):

The Overlook Press can be counted on to deliver very smart writing by authors with very distinctive personalities--their backlist includes Burroughs, Ferlinghetti, Barthelme, Sitwell, Freya Stark, James Branch Cabell, Mervyn Peake, Philip Jose Farmer, Norman Spinrad, among others (plus Wodehouse!). So I anticipate good things when Overlook in October publishes When Autumn Leaves by Amy Foster. Ms. Foster was on hand to sign my advanced reading copy. Judging from her badinage as she signed and from the pages I read last night in the ARC, this novel will be one you'll want to buy.

Candlewick Press has its usual strong line-up, featuring combos of magical prose and lush graphics. Three titles coming out in August and September grabbed me particularly: Leon and the Place Between, a picture book for young readers by Angela McAllister with illustrations by Grahame Baker-Smith; photographer David Ellwand's second Fairie-Ality book, A Sourcebook of Inspirations from Nature; and Kate DiCamillo's The Magician's Elephant, with illustrations by Yoko Tanaka. The latter opens with orphan Peter Augustus Dechene visiting a fortune-teller in the city of Baltese "at the end of the century before last," to ask about his sister's fate--only to be told that, while his sister lives, he must follow the elephant to find her. "'You are having fun with me,' he said. "There are no elephants here.'" Ah, but there are, as we learn at the end of the sample chapter...I cannot wait to follow the rest of the story.

David R. Godine, Publisher scooped everyone by bringing out J.M.G. Le Clezio long before the French author won last year's Nobel for Literature. In September 2009, Godine publishes C. Dickson's English translation of Le Clezio's 1980 novel, Desert. I lapped up the first two chapters of the ARC this morning.

Coffee House Press celebrates its 25th birthday this year by publishing in September, among others, Ray of the Star by Laird Hunt. "Set in a dream-like European city reminiscent of Barcelona, along a boulevard teeming with artists who perform as living statues, comes the beautiful and frightening story of a man running from his past, a woman consumed by grief, and the forces that pursue them both." The blurb hooks me. Just out in their spring list is Brian Evenson's story collection Fugue State, with a fabulous cover by Zak Sally. From Evenson's story "Mudder Tongue": "Language was starting to slip in his mouth, words substituting themselves for each other, and while his own thoughts remained as lucid as ever, sometimes they could be made manifest on his tongue only if they were wrung out or twisted or set with false eyes. False eyes? Something like that." Few capture gnawing, cat-footed fear the way Evenson does. Zombies and vampires we can defeat, but words that mutiny on your tongue...?

Tor, as one of the heavyweights in spec fic, has a large catalogue for the fall. I look forward to two in particular: Steven Erikson's Bauchelain and Korbal Broach: Three Short Novels of the Malazan Empire (a diabolical killer in the port of Lamentable Moll, an unseemly terror in the hold of the ship Suncurl, catastrophe in the city of Quaint...all in a day's work for the two wizards and their ill-fortuned servant Emancipor Reese), and Canticle by Ken Scholes(the second in his series about the Named Lands).

Orbit has two debut novels coming out that intrigue me: in November, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington ("the pious yet ignoble and grave robbing twins attempt to keep their faith...[in] a world of living saints and livelier demons--and of monsters and madmen...profane...funny...horrifying"); and in February, 2010, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin ("...the truth about her mother's death and her family's bloody history--as well as unsettling truths within herself....the story of humans who are subject to the whims of the gods, of a young woman thrown into a world of politics that she can barely understand...and of a love that transcends death").

Part II of my BEA report tomorrow, Part III on Tuesday.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

"I'm so 3008..."

The Black Eyed Peas, in "Boom Boom Pow" from their new album The End (The Energy Never Dies) imagine a cybernetic future in which we avoid nuclear destruction and get into "that future flow." Video directed by Mathew Cullen, produced by Anna Joseph for Interscope Records.

P.S. Does Will.I.Am rap "Beats are so big/I'm stepping on leprechauns"? Great stuff.

Francis Bacon's Visual Archive

Fascinating article by Richard Cork in the June-July-August issue of Bookforum, "Primordial Muse," about the "extraordinary accumulation of found images festooning every available surface" of the intensely private and enigmatic painter's studio. Cork is reviewing Francis Bacon: Incunabula, by Martin Harrison & Rebecca Daniels (Thames & Hudson, 2008).

After Bacon's death in 1992, archaeologists surveyed the materials item by item before the entire studio was moved to the Dublin City Gallery where excavations are now ongoing to understand how the random juxtaposition of the images may have influenced Bacon's work. Gallery director Barbara Dawson refers to the topography of newspaper clippings, photos of soldiers and athletes, images torn from medical textbooks, etc. as a "surrealist 'exquisite corpse' connection between objects."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cheryl Morgan

Follow Cheryl Morgan's blog for accounts of the comic con in Bristol (U.K.), the Imaginales con in Epinal, France and now for her roamings through spec fic realms in Australia and New Zealand. Her "mewsings" are a great reminder that superb spec fic and insightful fans exist far outside the U.S.A. and not all of it/them use English!

Karsh Kale & Zina Brown: "GK2"

From the seed is born the dryad...but sometimes the seed sprouts in a stony wasteland...Zina Brown's eerie visuals are well matched with Karsh Kale's beats in this video...ogres and trolls pursue our dryad-heroine through the mists and over the rubble of a shattered world...The song is called "GK2" from Kale's album Liberation. Zina Brown's company is Thousand Names Productions.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Recommended: Valente's New Novel

Catherynne M. Valente's recently published novel Palimpsest (Bantam Spectra, March 2009)is wonderful, in all senses of the word. Read it, no, savor it.

Valente is already, at age thirty, one of the best in the field. Her prose is rich, brocaded, lustrous--many passages are prose-poems, reflecting her award-winning skills as a poet. Her language has hints of Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith and Angela Carter, but is very much her own. (Valente is one of a cohort of younger writers--Goss, Duncan, Taaffe, Monette, VanderMeer--who have emerged as master-stylists.) Hers is a deep fantasy that is not just bizarre but familiar in a bizarre way, rousing a half-memory of recognition and longing in the reader's mind.

Palimpsest is a city somewhere beyond the fields we know. Four mismatched travelers arrive in Palimpsest through the power of a stranger's kiss. The city literally marks its visitors with a tattoo, a map of one of its precincts, and all its ways lead through Eros. Neither the reader nor the characters are certain where they are, what they should do, what they want. Waking and dreaming mesh--the effect is uncanny, very much in the sense that Freud defined it (and as Cixous and Castle have nuanced it since). Overlaying everything is an enigmatic eroticism, bringing to mind the mysteries of films such as Julia and Julia, The Double Life of Veronique, and That Obscure Object of Desire.

Valente's imagery is surreal, again leading us back to the Freudian uncanny. Palimpsest is a worthy heir to Ernst's collage novels and Magritte's paintings. In Palimpsest, "a gilded cart [is] drawn by twin herons, their long black legs rustling the street-leaves," and a maitre-d' is "an absurdly tall and silent man with glossily spotted giraffe legs." Young tenement women braid their hair together to catch fish in the river, revelers dance in skull-masks under a chandelier that drips gems to music played by faceless girls, mechanical roaches skitter about.

The city is itself a major character. In Palimpsest, Valente has created a city-character to rival Viriconium, The Etched City, New Crobuzon, Ambergris, and Melusine. Oh what a city Palimpsest is!

"Zarzaparrilla Street is paved with old coats. Layer after layer of fine corduroy and felt and wool the colors of coffee and ink. Those having business here must navigate with poles and gondola, ever so gently thrusting aside the sleeves and lapels and weedy ties...Great curving pairs of scissors are provided in case of sudden disaster, tucked neatly beneath the pilot's seat."

"Inamorata Street ends in silver sand and a great craggy finger of stone, stretching out into the sea. ...Striped tents dot the beach head: red and yellow, green and white, rose and powdery blue. Women change into bathing uniforms with flared waists and broad hats to keep out the moonlight; tuba players march back and forth, blaring out nocturnes."

In "the grand convocation chamber of Colophon Station...the 3:17 northbound Decretal had had a somewhat unhappy affair with the 12:22 eastbound Foolscap. The mysterious train was their child, and like any child whose parents no longer love each other, it runs wild and does what it likes and there is little at all to be done about it."

At 212th, Vituperation, Seraphim and Alphabet, "in the center of the roundabout sits the Memorial. It is tall and thin, a baroque spire sheltering a single black figure--a gagged child with the corded, elastic legs of an ostrich...Bronze and titanium chariots click by in endless circles..."

I hope that Valente is dream-writing further adventures in this city, Palimpsest of fixations, misunderstandings, and voluptuous meanderings.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Weekly Round-Up

Check these out:

1. John Markoff, "The Coming Superbrain," in today's New York Times: a succinct summary of renewed interest in A.I. and the Singularity-- nothing unfamiliar to readers of science fiction, but always worth noting when the mainstream features themes from the genre. Terminator, Google, NASA, Arthur C. Clarke, Vinge, Kurzweil, Joy...all the "usual suspects."

2. Children's Literature Association Spring 2009 Newsletter includes summaries of relevant panels at the 2008 Modern Language Association national conference, including a panel co-chaired by June Cummins and Catherine Tosenberger on the "Princess Culture Industry," in which "panelists discussed many depictions of the 'princess' figure in contemporary literature, media and culture for girls." I am particularly intrigued by Natalie Wall's paper, "Revisiting the Exotic: Manipulating the Postcolonial Princes in Western Discourse," in which she explores use in Disney films of princess figures from non-Western cultures, arguing that these films present the heroine's culture as the chief obstacle to her success. Also, Helen Pilinovsky's "Passive Princesses: Perversions of the Fairy Tale Form in Princess Culture," in which she identifies startling changes made in modern princess stories to the traditional tales-- she notes that 18th-century French salonistes wrote literary tales that empowered women, while later versions have robbed the princess of agency and autonomy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Ever-Elusive Origins of the Fairy Tale

Fairy tales continue to bewitch and baffle us, as Jennifer Howard writes in the May 22 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, "From 'Once Upon a Time' to 'Happily Ever After': Fairy-tale Scholars Explore the Nuanced History of the Genre."

Howard relates the brouhaha started by Professor Ruth Bottigheimer, who asserts in Fairy Tales: A New History (SUNY Press, 2009): "It may therefore surprise readers that folk invention and transmission of fairy tales has no basis in verifiable fact. Literary analysis undermines it, literary history rejects it, social history repudiates it, and publishing history...contradicts it."


As someone who studied oral epic with Albert Lord (The Singer of Tales), and fairytale transmission with scholars at the Institute for Folkloristics at the University of Oslo, and who has collected tales in the field, I find Bottigheimer's claims far too sweeping. But, more importantly, they seem a bit beside the point, almost forlornly antique in their militancy. Arguments about oral versus literary origins and influence began in the 19th century. We've long studied the upstairs/downstairs interplay between the written and spoken forms of Maerchen, contes des fees, etc. We've researched the Pentamerone, and the stories by Perrault, by the German Romantics and H.C. Andersen, and so on through to the tales by Angela Carter, Marina Warner and Jeaette Winterson-- a good introduction is Jack Zipes, When Dreams Come True: Classical Fairy Tales and Their Tradition (Routledge, 1999).

I have not read Bottigheimer's book, so I can not critique further. I would note, however, that--to take just one set of examples-- the social-historical micro-analyses of fairytale transmission in Norway, Denmark and Finland by respectively Bjarne Hodne, Bengt Holbek and Lauri Honko do not bear out the Bottigheimer quote above.

As Howard says in her Chronicle article: "Many scholars share a dismay at the lingering spell cast by the idea that the study of fairy tales can be divided into two camps: the 'oralist' versus the literary." She quotes Donald Haase (editor of Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies) to good effect: "'The history of the fairy tale is a very complex, multifaceted, nuanced history which is not well served by dualities and generalizations.'"

Well put, Professor Haase.

Regardless of which side(s) one takes, I am happy that we all still care enough about fairy tales as a core element of human culture to argue ferociously about them. I am delighted that our arguments matter to a wider audience.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"People are trapped in history..."

Very welcome (if long overdue) news: last month the Smithsonian announced the architectural team for the design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall in Washington DC. The Museum is set to open in 2015. Another vital step on the road to awakening from the nightmare of history. As James Baldwin said: "James Joyce is right about history being a nightmare. But it may be that nightmare from which no one can awaken. People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sybil's Garage No. 6 Arrived Today!

Matt Kressel's Senses Five Press released the sixth issue of Sybil's Garage today (full disclosure: my poem Backsight is among the offerings). You can buy an issue online by clicking through at the link above.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Telling Detail

I stop-- as if discovering a catbird's nest thrust deep within a hedgerow-- stiller than stone, unbreathing, transfixed by the nestlings, whose feathers are dewed, whose tiny mewing beaks are hard scrims of yellow against their grey selves, perfectly outlined by a morning sun.

That's how I feel when I come across the perfect, telling detail in a novel or short story, the seemingly casual effect that captures an entire world in a single gesture. Like this one from the prologue in According to Queeney by Beryl Bainbridge:

"The conveyance turning into Fleet Street, a gaggle of urchins ran in pursuit and leapt for the tail-board, at which the driver flicked backwards with his whip."

...flicked backwards with his whip... With that image, I am in London in December, 1784, trundling along with a box-cart...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Phantasmaphile-- A Great Site

Run, don't walk, over to Pam Grossman's wonder cabinet of curiosities at Phantasmaphile. Pam has a great curatorial eye, specializing in the surreal, the macabre, the eldritch. As she puts it: in "mirabilia." Highly recommended.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Fluid Signature of Joy

I read for the Blakean moment, the seizing of the instress (per Hopkins), what I call the exploding note or the fluid signature of joy. Joy at the craft(iness) of words, joy for their tumble-through beauty, joy for the dark flames of language, even when the language is melancholic or bitter, even when it conveys fear, pain, recriminations. A joy, then, bathed in sorrow and memory of loss, because maybe true joy only visits with its wounding kin. The light that sears the mind: what St. Teresa saw, and Rabi'a al-Basri felt in the desert, and Mirabai while she sang her bhajans. The "verse in me," as Martin Buber put it.

Here is a passage that overwhelmed me the first time I read it. It still does, every time, speeding joy on barbed feet. It's from "Eye on the Scarecrow (-'mu' twentieth part-)" in Splay Anthem by Nathaniel Mackey. I cannot do justice to its typographical lay-out, which flows, then stutters, down the page.

"The way we lay
We mimed a body
of water. It was
this or that way
the dead and we
were them.


It was a journey we
were on, drawn-out
scrawl we made a road
of, long huthered hajj
were on. Raw strip
of cloth we now rode,
wishful, letterless
the ride we thumbed...
Harp-headed ghost whose
head we plucked incessantly.
Bartered star. Tethered

Absent Willow Review-- New Issue Out

The Absent Willow Review's May issue is out. AWR is a nice addition to the e-zine ranks within speculative fiction. I especially liked Niall Boyce's "Demonology," which revolves around a-- shall we say?--disturbing occurrence in a library. As it says in the old manuscript the narrator stumbles across: "noli videre" ("don't look"). Enjoy.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cabinet des Fees-- Beautiful New Look

Cabinet des Fees has overhauled its already wonderful site-- the graphics are gorgeous. CdF is one of my favorite places to feed my heart-- I hope you'll make it one of your favorites as well. Be sure to check out Erzebet YellowBoy's site too--she is one of the driving forces behind CdF, besides running Papaveria Press and other endeavors.

Interstitial Arts Foundation Salon

The Interstitial Arts Foundation hosts its first salon, June 11th at the Unwined Wine Bar & Lounge at Symphony Space on Manhattan's Upper West Side. What a fabulous idea! I look forward to participating. See Interstitial Arts Foundation for details and how to RSVP.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Jumping the Stile

I encourage folks to check out (and support) The Interstitial Arts Foundation for its gathering of "across-the-grain," eclectic and innovative ideas.

For instance, I love Alma Alexander's essay, "...and being shelved in the wrong place...," in which she describes:

"...the fantasy cooties thing, something that apparently requires a warding off of the first order should its evil eye fall on your work – but as I keep telling everyone, ALL FICTION IS FANTASY. By definition. And if the currently accepted definition of fantasy spills over into the mainstream shelves, or the mainstream books suddenly start having a dash of the fantastic – this should not be something that alienates readers from a book, but rather it should be seen as an expanding of one’s horizons, an interstitial quest, a hunting for treasure in places you never thought to look in before".

Indeed! Yet so much vehement energy is spent defending this rampart and that barricade. Instead, let us bless Chabon, Oates, Eggers, and Lethem--among others--for their warm, candid, and ecumenical approaches. Bless Small Beer Press, the Ministry of Whimsy (come back!), Aqueduct Press and The New York Review of Science Fiction --to name just a few-- for helping readers to jump the stile.

I wonder why mutual recognition and exchange seem more common among musicians. I wonder if musicians perhaps have less fear of the "cooties thing," the (in)famous "anxiety of influence" so prevalent among writers. Instead, I recall jazz pianist Les McCann at a concert years ago where he mixed in a dash of Mozart and then some Funkadelic Parliament saying, "aw hell, everyone is always peeking over the fence to see what the other guy is doing."

Yo-Yo Ma (check out his Silk Road Project) is seemingly on a mission to collaborate with musicians from every possible genre on the planet, yet no one questions his authority on stage at Carnegie Hall. Anoushka Shankar happily debuts her father's Concerto Nr. 3 for Sitar and Orchestra with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and vice versa--and the musicians openly query and challenge one another's traditions on the way to creating fabulous art together. Watch the behind-the-scenes webisodes of A. Shankar and Orpheus rehearsing, for a great inside look at creative sharing,experimentation, re-styling, re-contextualizing without diluting or compromising the original:

Herbie Hancock, Jan Garbarek, Oregon, Angelique Kidjo, Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky:: That Subliminal Kid), Peter Gabriel with Youssou N'Dour, MIDival PunditZ, Salif Keita, Bjoerk, Talvin Singh, Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder, David Byrne with just about everybody, L. Subramaniam with Jean-Luc Ponty, Karsh Kale, The Afro Celt Sound System, Regina Carter, Manu Katche, Branford Marsalis with Sally Beamish... my list of interstitial musicians has only begun with these names. They are happy to cross boundaries, to share and experiment, and don't seem to waste too much time apologizing or defending their actions.

Which is also the sense one gets over at the Interstitial Arts Foundation, for which, bravo.

Let's play cross-country, in that meadow over there, down the swale and wherever the track takes us, and to hell (respectfully, of course) with the fences.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

(Lost at) Home

Start at the end, like this, with the very last words of The Lord of the Rings:

"But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap.

He drew a deep breath. 'Well, I'm back,' he said."

Or like this, with the final words of A Wizard of Earthsea:

"They came in to Ismay harbor on a still, dark evening before snow. They tied up the boat Lookfar that had borne them to the coasts of death's kingdom and back, and went up through the narrow streets to the wizard's house. Their hearts were very light as they entered into the firelight and warmth under that roof; and Yarrow ran to meet them, crying with joy."

A primeval vision for a wandering species: the homecoming on the edge of night, out of great danger back to hearth and food and family. What more could be said? Surely they lived happily ever after and so ends the tale.

But the wisest fantasists have always known that Happily Ever After never really is, at least not fully or for everyone. The power of the best fantasy writing is to challenge and subvert the ideal, to suggest that the ideal is either unattainable or in itself corrupted.

The feminist scholar Kathryn Allen Rabuzzi (who happens to be my mother) mused on this in her book, The Sacred and the Feminine: Toward a Theology of Housework:

"As a child, I loved fairy tales. But I was never satisfied with their endings. What, I wondered, did the characters do when 'they all lived happily ever after?' [...] While this Land of Happily Ever After entraps its victims without regard to sex, traditionally it has been women, more than men, who have been forced to remain there for life...despite its seemingly apocalyptical promise, Happily Ever After turns out to be the realm of domesticity, until very recently a predominantly feminine domain."

So, in fact, Sam is ultimately not back. Frankly, the Shire is a bit boring--there is not much to do there once the gardening is done, the hay brought in, and the pint of ale quaffed. In the appendix, Tolkien writes that, in the year 1482, after the death of Mistress Rose, Sam rides out from Bag End, says goodbye to Elanor at the Tower Hills, and passes over the Sea, last of the Ring-bearers. Come to think of it, neither Merry nor Pippin stay at home either: they are buried beside Aragorn in Gondor.

Nor does Ged, the Wizard of Earthsea, come to rest fully. Le Guin (who should be considered one of the greatest writers of our time, "in genre" or out) is far too subtle for anything so pat. Ged will visit the wall in the dry land again in later books, will lose his powers, talk to dragons, in short, will have all sorts of further adventures. To be fair, at the end of the Earthsea series, Ged has achieved a sort of domestic bliss. (Le Guin, as always, nuances the tale by having the man--Ged--stay at home while the women--Tenar and Tehanu--venture forth to the King's castle.) But, by the close of The Other Wind, Ged is something of an afterthought, watering the cabbages and tending the pear trees at Re Albi--at least, so it seems to me.

No one captured the stultifying nature of Happily Ever After better than Mervyn Peake--Gormenghast, the world-castle, is a home that has devoured its inhabitants. Titus Groan's desperate rebellion, his flight at the end of the second volume, is heart-wrenching because the castle itself is a far more insidious enemy than the vanquished villain Steerpike ever was. Some of the most chilling words I have ever read are those of Titus's mother, the Countess, who embodies Gormenghast, spoken to Titus as he flees:

"But out of the silence that hung at his shoulder blades, he heard her voice. It was not loud. It was not too hurried.

'There is nowhere else,' it said. 'You will only tread a circle, Titus Groan. There's not a road, not a track, but it will lead you home. For everything comes to Gormenghast.' "

The urge to adventure is at least as strong for the female characters in fantasy writing, maybe even stronger given historical constraints in the physical world: Quest beats Nest every time. Sure, Dorothy at the end of The Wizard of Oz cries out how glad she is to be "home again" with Aunt Em, but Baum brought Dorothy back to Oz a half-dozen times in later books. How on Earth could you keep Dorothy down on the farm after she had seen The Emerald City? The answer, of course, is that you cannot.

Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu knows this well in her Zahrah the Windseeker (to be added to the canon alongside the Earthsea books and the Oz books). In the final chapter, after Zahrah has saved her best friend and likely future husband Dari, the wise woman Nsibidi tells her:

" 'When I grew up, I left home. Zahrah, you must know that once a Windseeker learns to fly, he or she is plagued by wanderlust. Rarely do we stay where we were born and raised.' "

Then comes the kick inside:

" 'I [i.e., Zahrah] felt Dari looking at me strangely, but I didn't want to look at him. Still, without looking at him, I could read his mind. I frowned. Why would my best friend think I'd ever leave him and my family?' "

The answer, hinted at in what I hope is just the first of many books about the Windseeker, is that Zahrah will take Dari and her family with her when she heads out in search of Earth. One thing is certain, however: Zahrah will captain the ship.

Here are the final sentences of the book:

" 'I want to learn about Earth,' I said with wide eyes.

Dari sighed loudly but smiled. 'Me too. Today let's just go and sit in our usual tree and watch the sunset.'

'OK, but don't expect me to sit on the lowest branch anymore.' "

There's a Happily Ever After to celebrate!

**Savor these:

**Will Calhoun's "Amara," from his album Native Lands, with Calhoun's photographs of Morocco, captures the driving search for home:

**Paul Klee's "Temple of Longing" (1922).

Klee's epiphany with color came in 1914 on his trip to Tunisia with Macke and Molliet. "Longing" is an adequate but not rich translation of the German original, which is "Sehnsucht." I will re-visit the concept of Sehnsucht many times in this column.