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Prose Polaroids
August 21, 2003 12:04 PM   Subscribe

The September issue of Harper's features (alas, subway portable version only) some of the "Spare and haunting, whimsical and contemplative snapshot-stories" of Oz Shelach, Israeli journalist and author of the book "Picnic Grounds: A Novel in Fragments," published by San Francisco's City Lights. [more inside]
posted by shoepal (11 comments total)

 
The night sky
"The night sky over a picnic ground near Kibbutz Qiryat-'Anavim, where our uncle took us, was changed, different from the starlit sky under which he and his comrades had moved in on the site one night, put up fences, built shacks, and took turns patrolling. In his old age, our uncle, whom we loved to visit, collected aerial photographs of the area. With a magnifying glass, and intuition, he pointed out pastures and natural flowerbeds, donkeys, farmers' children, olive groves, and even carrots, onions, and lettuces that grew scattered among the olives. So clear was visibility in the years before industrialization, before armored vehicles began grinding the desert sand, that even in winter it was never cloudy for more than a few days in a row. The sky under which a village was bombed out and later razed was not the same sky over ground, which was the same, where we had a picnic one dusty day."

An interview with Oz is available as well. (via Mr. Simsie)
posted by shoepal at 12:06 PM on August 21, 2003


"Please discuss this thing that I think is really interesting, but which you can't see because it's not on the Web."
posted by jjg at 12:19 PM on August 21, 2003


Fair enough, jjg. The article in Harper's isn't the focus of the post.

And damn if there isn't a space in the link to "Picnic Grounds." Sorrybout that.
posted by shoepal at 12:24 PM on August 21, 2003


The article in Harper's isn't the focus of the post.

If that's not the focus, I don't know what is.
posted by jjg at 12:58 PM on August 21, 2003


Ok, jjg, how about we discuss the author, Oz Shelach, a non-native english speaking Israeli journalist who recently published a collection of short stories in English, about the destruction of Palestine and the ripple effects of war on culture, history and identity.

Or, we could discuss the boycott of Israeli Art institutions.

I sincerely apologize for pointing out an interesting author whose "snap-shot stories" might appeal to the readers of mefi. How dare I reference something only available in meatspace!
posted by shoepal at 1:22 PM on August 21, 2003


Well, this is a weblog...

FYI, the articles in Harper's usually become available online at findarticles.com a few months after the issue hits the newsstands.
posted by pitchblende at 1:47 PM on August 21, 2003


tough day at the office today, pal?

I didn't really get the point of your post either (mostly because of the Harpers link), but that's because we both know I'm "intellecutally challenged" :-)
posted by bk at 1:57 PM on August 21, 2003


shoepal, your apology doesn't sound very sincere to me. You made a mistake; admit it and move on. The rules are pretty clear, and posting about a neat magazine (or book or dog or whatever) that can't be accessed on the web is a clear violation. That's what personal blogs are for.
posted by languagehat at 2:04 PM on August 21, 2003


languagehat, I honestly thought people might find Oz Shelach interesting. His short stories, one of which I included, seem sort of "blog-like" and very poignant given the times we live in. He seems like an interesting guy worth reading about. He's got a website, there are reviews of his book, and interviews.

I admit that the reference to the Harper's article was probably a bad way to begin the post and introduce the author, but my intention was to highlight the Israeli author/journalist, not Harper's magazine.
posted by shoepal at 2:37 PM on August 21, 2003


Hey, I find him interesting myself, and I'd never heard of him, so I'm grateful for the tip. I'm not complaining, just pointing out that continuing to defend the indefensible is self-defeating. Now you seem to be viewing it as an object lesson in post construction, which is definitely the way to look at the experience.
posted by languagehat at 5:22 PM on August 21, 2003


Well damn, I've always considered myself more of a post deconstructivist!
posted by shoepal at 6:02 PM on August 21, 2003


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