One of my favorite set of brains and eyes, Sally Reed, has initiated her first foray into the personal blogdominium with her new site Butter and Lightning. I’m excited. She’s my kind of thinker, with a wicked sense of the absurd while still keeping her heart wide open. It all makes for the best kind of reportage—full bodied and rich.
Here’s a sampling from her first post:
My butter and lightning originates in a remarkable piece of writing, a speech in the form of a prose poem, by Spanish poet García Lorca, Theory and Play of the Duende. If you know the speech, you’ll probably be familiar with its best-known image, “But intelligence is often the enemy of poetry, because it limits too much, and it elevates the poet to a sharp-edged throne where he forgets that ants could eat him or that a great arsenic lobster could fall suddenly on his head . . . .” Lorca’s duende is a dark and mysterious power, an untranslatable force. We need it desperately, for in duende, with its “wings made of rusty knives,” we have the cure for bloodless, anesthetic art — art which deadens and numbs us. And duende admonishes us that we must never, ever forget that arsenic lobster.
You will find my phrase buried in the middle of the piece … “Those moon-frozen heads that Zurbarán painted, the yellows of butter and lightning in El Greco…”
Destined to be a juicy ride.