Monday, January 9, 2017

#Nonfiction Review: 'Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art' by Madeleine L'Engle

This book will be useful and instructive to all kinds of artists, from writers to visual artists to theater performers to musicians. Although it does discuss faith, and particularly Madeleine L'Engle's Christian faith, faith is not necessary to read and get something positive out of this book.


I'm a writer who wouldn't consider herself a Christian, although I was raised in the Roman Catholic church and have attended the Episcopal church as an adult. Madeleine L'Engle states in this book that she likes to call herself Christian and not particular denomination. However, she does mention the Book of Common Prayer, and I know from her other writings that the church she attended was also Episcopal. (For those of you outside the U.S., that's our version of the Anglican Church/Church of England. We split from the Crown during the American Revolution, but we're still part of the Anglican Communion.) Personally, I also find a lot of beauty and meaning in the Book of Common Prayer, but if you don't, that doesn't mean you won't enjoy this book.

Like many readers, I came to know of Madeleine L'Engle through reading A Wrinkle in Time as a child. I carried on with some of the sequels much more recently, and I found them to be quite wonderful too. I have enough appreciation for L'Engle as an artist to understand that she knows quite a bit about art and how art is done.

That's not to say that I entirely agree with everything she writes in this book. I find her lecture on why it's perfectly okay to use "man" to mean "human being" to be terribly old-fashioned and anti-feminist. No, Ms. L'Engle, we don't want the male gender to be the "default" setting for human being, thus reinforcing the idea that man is human and woman is "other." I don't know if she ever read Germaine Greer or Simone de Beauvoir, but she should have.

I will give her a little bit of leeway since she originally wrote this in 1980. Sadly, L'Engle passed away in 2007, so there's no possibility of asking her now.

Overall, though, this book gave me much more to love than to quarrel with. It serves as an antidote to the kind of misplaced piety that would try to separate artists from our art and to squeeze art into too-tiny, too-narrow boxes it no longer wishes to fit inside.

I received this book from BloggingForBooks.com in exchange for a fair and honest review, which represents my own honest opinion.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

America’s Greatest Literary Magazines (Guest Post)

The USA is the leading country in different spheres of life. American mass media are well known throughout the world. For example, American literary magazines attract attention of people from different countries, because they write about contemporary books, trends in literature, and provide readers with interesting facts about famous writers, poets and literary works. Many American literary magazines have perfect reputation and a wide audience. Here is the list of five best magazines:


1. The New Yorker. It is one of the most popular American literary magazines. It was first published in 1925. Generally, this magazine is focused on the culture of New York. However, The New Yorker is well known in other cities outside of this state. It embraces different spheres of culture, including politics and social sphere. This weekly magazine is famous for its literary reviews, illustrations, and topical cartoons.

2. Tin House. It is relatively new literary magazine. Tin House debuted in 1998. This popular magazine is published in Portland and Brooklyn. It contains different sections related to fictions, essays, interviews with popular literary persons, etc. Overall, this magazine is famous for its interesting and extraordinary fictions that helped Tin House win several literary awards.

3. Ploughshares. It was established in 1971. This popular periodical was initially published in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nowadays, it is published in Boston. Ploughshares is associated with literary reviews and essays written by famous contemporary writers, including Nobel and Pulitzer prizes winners.

4. The Atlantic. This magazine was one of the first literary magazines in the USA. It was established in 1857 in Boston, Massachusetts. Today, The Atlantic is based in Washington, DC. Previously it was associated only with literary issues. Nowadays journalists of this magazine write about cultural, political, health and social issues. For this reason, The Atlantic has a wide audience even outside of the USA.

By Southern Pacific Transportation Company - Harper's Magazine. Posted by mysticknyght to http://community.livejournal.com/nola_photos/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=853612
5. Harper’s Magazine. This monthly periodical is specialized in art, cultural, political, and literary issues. It was founded in 1850 in New York. It is the second magazine that is published in the USA today. Harper’s Magazine has published a wide range of literary works by famous writers.

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