ECLECTICA Nonfiction - Jan/Feb 2011
Jan/Feb 2011

e c l e c t i c a   n o n f i c t i o n


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My Father-in-Law's Funeral
The house looked the same—exactly the same, but it wasn't. It was a new house, and she'd moved him into it without even asking him if he'd wanted to move. Was this fair? He wanted to know. The Doctor took him off lithium for the first time in thirty years. Parkinson's he said. Creative delusions, I said. If you're going to have them, shouldn't they be intriguing?
Barbara Greenbaum


Oedipus and his Discontents
The reality of the religion of archaic Greece is difficult to comprehend. What, for example, can we make of a ritual that lasted into 200 B.C., in which each year the Lokrians sent two virgins to Troy, who were disembarked and forced to run a fatal gantlet to attain the city's gates... all because Lokrian Ajax in some mythical time was said by Homer to have raped the Princess Cassandra!
Jascha Kessler


The Transformation of a Urinal Into Art
Change, however, is a dodgy subject for art to deal with. In themselves, novel artworks do not stay fresh and daring for long. When Impressionism ceased to be brand-new, it no longer provided a suitable representation of the idea of change. That was when art took a new turn, one that was called Expressionism. Expressionists showed change by turning away from impressions of the outside world. Instead, they emphasized inside feelings and ideas about the world, which were regarded as more important than the flood of useful new objects.
William H. Libaw


Reflections on Decision Points
After the attacks, I gained a certain amount of respect for Bush. Yes, my parents disliked him, and yes, I'd laughed as he was lampooned on Saturday Night Live. But I'd been caught in the anxiety and historicity of that day, and perhaps my thirteen-year-old self was excited to have such an important man lead the country. I was definitely fixated on the strength that finely-cut suit implied, and still now I sympathize with Bush's position as leader on 9/11. If I were president, for example, would I too have stayed at that school to read about pet goats?
Peter Bingham-Pankratz


Taos, an Interval on the Long Trek West: In Residence at D. H. Lawrence's Ranch and the Wurlitzer Foundation
The Lawrences stayed on and on, succumbing altogether, and were to be won over, despite all the persistent shenanigans of their overbearing hostess. And, it was then, in her eagerness to keep the writer in her orbit, or so goes the local lore, that the heiress made her extraordinary offer to make the Ranch theirs, in exchange for the manuscript of his already much admired novel, "Sons and Lovers."
Julia Braun Kessler


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