At Ploughshares, Elizabeth Gonzalez James reflects on why she finds herself reading the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke in the midst of lockdown and how it’s a salve to her feelings of confusion and frustration. “I’ve found myself turning to these poems again and again over the last year,” James writes. “Rilke’s longing for God mirrors my own longing for meaning amid so much tragedy. And though in this last year I have often, or more likely have been always filled with some mixture of condemnation, anger, and doubt, Rilke’s words give me space to release myself from the prison of my own feelings, and offer an alternative, even curative, way to live in the world. ‘Let everything happen to you,’ he writes, ‘beauty and terror. / Just keep going. No feeling is final. / Don’t let yourself lose me.'”
Visual effects virtuoso Ray Harryhausen died this week at the age of 92. Harryhausen was first inspired to take up movie-making when he watched King Kong with his childhood friend Ray Bradbury, and his pioneering career spanned over forty years. Over at Vulture, you can check out a couple of his most well-known scenes. To my mind, though, his best work will always remain Galgo’s creepy, stretch-tastic wizard hand from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
Blackout, the recent memoir by Sarah Hepola, chronicles the author’s long struggle with reckless drinking. The title references the total loss of memory she experienced after some of her worst benders. At The Morning News, Rosecrans Baldwin talks with Hepola about her book, amnesia and the nature of memory.