Friday, May 15, 2009

Writers' Rag-and-Bone Shop: a new book corner for my blog


Welcome to The Writers' Rag-and-Bone Shop, my new blog-café for all things literary (inaugurated on the anniversary of Emily Dickinson's death from kidney disease in 1886).  I've looked back on a number of posts in which I've shared passages of literature and poetry that have lingered in my mind after I've read them (see here, here, here, and here for examples), and I've decided I'll make a point of sharing such finds here from time to time.

Today's feature is the beautiful passage by Joyce Carol Oates entitled "My Faith as a Writer" (from her book The Faith of a Writer). It summarizes on this blogiversary eve what this blog, at its best - most importantly, the community and exchange of ideas within it - has meant to me.

    I believe that art is the highest expression of the human spirit.
    I believe that we yearn to transcend the merely finite and ephemeral; to participate in something mysterious and communal called "culture" - and that this yearning is as strong in our species as the yearning to reproduce the species.
    Through the local or regional, through our individual voices, we work to create art that will speak to others who know nothing of us.  In our very obliqueness to one another, an unexpected intimacy is born.
    The individual voice is the communal voice.
    The regional voice is the universal voice.

Isn't that brilliant?  

***

It's time at last for the Blogiversary Book Give-Away!

If Singular Intimacies is the must-read for those who want to know more about the general practice of medicine, When the Air Hits Your Brain by Frank Vertosick is the absolute must-read for those who enjoy learning about the surgical side.



Vertosick is an expert writer whose powerful stories and vivid details "hit your brain" and leave permanent marks. Particularly unforgettable are chapters like "Ailments Untreatable," a gripping account of the attempt to save an un-save-able patient, and "If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It," in which he captures both the seemingly heartless cynicism that can infiltrate physicians-in-training and the redeeming humanity that can take root and grow from a significant connection with a patient.

And the winner is (my son drawing name out of a hat as I write)...

...Angela A.!  

Congrats! (And thanks to all who submitted questions for tomorrow's interview!)

1 comment:

Kirti said...

OH, I love the new book corner and quote!!! Very inspiring! I'll be following...

Also, I like the book giveaway idea...may have to do my own giveaway...hmm...