Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Grieving

I just read Nicholas Laughlin's interview with Geoffrey Philp in the issue of THE CARIBBEAN REVIEW OF BOOKS that arrived in the mail today. There's a great picture of Geoffrey (how come so many of these photos lack credits?) and I enjoyed the chat about Geoff's blog, the blog being not just a blog, but a sort of online entrepot, a cyber hub, and at this point, a fine resource. Indeed, given how things are going with other literary ventures in the Caribbean, we may end up with blogs like Geoff's being our only recourse. Nice little mixing image there that I didn't even set out to create. What's a mixing image? One of a taxonomy of "prismatic" images I invented a while back to use to talk about Caribbean literature, rather than ye olde simile and metaphor and so on. But more of that anon. I need to get to the grieving. I had an e-mail from Wayne Brown a few hours ago informing of the closure of CARIBBEAN WRITING TODAY after five issues. If memory serves, Nicholas was not so long ago expressing concern on antilles blogspot about the fate of THE CARIBBEAN REVIEW OF BOOKS. Both publications face the same challenges: not enough subscriptions, not enough ads. I won't attempt any analysis of why we fail to support these things – not just us in the region, but people all over the world who mine our literature for what it's worth. Just happy to say that I subscribe to both, have enjoyed both, think we need them both very much. It's the same thing as with the bees. While we profiling with the cellie, we killing off insects that we need to ensure that we have food to eat. I know there are those of us who don't have much patience with warner women, but I'll risk the label. We need to repent, soon. Of not putting our money where our mouth is. Of being more concerned with appearances than with substance. Of failing to husband the talents God give us. And God not a wise person to select for provocation, for, like my Granny used to say, "Him naaaah sleep."

8 comments:

geoffreyphilp101@gmail.com said...

Dear Pam,
Give thanks. I'm glad that you liked the interview. It was fun.

I, too, worry about the fate of CRB and other literary magazines and the lack of sponsorship and ads.

I try my part and hope that it will help.

Blessings,
Geoffrey

clarabella said...

Hi Geoff:

Thanks for stopping by. I'm here brooding over whether it may not be wise to put some limits on what I'm writing here, as you did, maybe restict it to being a "litblog". (I have to tell you how I hate lingo. There's something very them and us about it...) Someone who lectured till quite recently in comparative lit at UWI and is very well networked said that, until I took copies of CRB for them, they had never heard of it. That struck me as a little strange. Do you suppose that the PR was just not enough? As for doing your part, I can't think what we'd do without you!

Big blessings on you, and your house, also, my brother.

pam

Nicholas said...

Dear Pam--thanks for the kind words about the CRB. I'm very sorry to hear that Caribbean Writing Today will be closing. I'm working hard to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to the CRB, but of course every small literary magazine lives on the brink. I'm happy to say that our subscriptions drive of the past couple of months is showing good results, but we still (and will always) need more subscribers. So I'm grateful to you and Geoffrey for spreading the word.

And the CRB photo credits, by the way, are on the contents page. The image of Geoffrey that accompanies his interview is by Georgia Popplewell.

Best always,

Nicholas Laughlin

clarabella said...

Hi Nicholas;

Welcome!. I'm new to this blog thing, and so glad for the company. Geoff said in your interview that he doesn't care if people stop by to read what he has to say on his blog. I do care, not because I'm vain, but because I am concerned about dying bees, and dying literary magazines, and so many other dying things, including, I fear, the love of literature. It's good that CRB's subscription drive did so well. I hope the interest keeps building. As for the photo credits, I'm just jealous for the photographers who I know like to see their names right there beside the images. Sort of like the painter signing the work...

More time.

pam

FSJL said...

Words never matter
say our politicians
since theirs are empty;

to nourish the heart
we need poems and stories
from each fresh spirit.

All revolutions
begin with clear honest words
challenging silence.

clarabella said...

They say
that words
don't matter?

Those loud
mouth chatter
boxes?

geoffreyphilp101@gmail.com said...

Dear Pam,

Nice conversation going here. I accept all your blessings gratefully...

Pam, I do care what I say, but as with all other matter, IF I became preoccupied with whether anyone would say anything, I would have stopped writing and blogging a long time ago.

As for the putting limits--that's a personal choice, and I'm sure like with everything else that you've done--no blowing smoke up your skirt--this blog will have the Pam Mordecai stamp on it--as it already has.

It will be very interesting to see how this blog evolves because it's a transparent work in progress.

Looking forward to more...

Blessings,
Geoffrey

clarabella said...

Hi Geoff:
Sorry to be late with this reply, but I've been away from my base, helping to bury the dead. You know the problem with taking a comment out of context. Of course, you care – and of course, you don't! And of course, I care – and of course, I don't! But maybe the issue with me is one of time? Because I'm older than you are? Because I've felt time running out since a revelation I had more than thirty years ago, way ahead of Stephen Hawking, that the world was rapidly winding down? Because some of my friends and acquaintances in their SUVs don't seem to get the sustainability thing? I guess we each do what we feel called to do, the important thing being to do, to act, to contribute to a community, to be civilized, cives, a good citizen – as you do, so very well. Be well, Geoff. Blessings, as always,

pam aka clarabella