New pub of an older story

In other news, I've just been invited to include one of my stories in an upcoming anthology of fiction by Harvard and Yale alumni, proceeds to go to "Doctors Without Borders". It's a strange story that still surprises me. It appeared originally in the online journal milk. Here it is in that version: On a Page from Rilke.


This is terrific!


Mar de fondo

The sea is rough today, long low waves rolling in rapidly from far to the east. This is what we call here mar de fondo, which I just now learned is the literal meaning of "ground swell" -- "an undulation of the ocean with deep rolling waves, often caused by a distant storm or earthquake" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, my 1976 edition). Except that it is the sea, not the ocean, that is making all that noise outside my window and sending up its spume to sparkle in the sun. (The ancients knew that great Oceanus surrounds Terra the Earth, whereas the sea outside my window is the "Mediterranean," that is, surrounded by Terra.)

This morning I watched a sturdy, stubborn little boat force its way, churn by churn, to cut across those waves, the white spume rising like a burnoose over its prow, its hull buffeted left and right, port and starboard. Despite the wind and waves in opposition, it moved steadily and rapidly on its course, an unusually powerful little boat with a tall antenna and, as I saw through binoculars, a large thing on it prow that I took for another antenna, or perhap a gun -- it was too far for me tell its colors, and too obscured by its movement and the spray, to be sure that it was Guardia Civil. But whether it was military or not, and whatever its mission, I took pride in its determination, projecting myself into its tense and muscular movement, becoming that boat. Keeping my course and churning through waves and spray.

Scribd Invites Writers to Upload Work and Name Their Price - NYTimes.com

Is this really "vanity" publishing? "Vanity publishing" seems to mean publishing all by oneself, at one's own effort and expense, without any assurance from anybody else (except maybe your mother and closest friends) that what you have written is worth reading. Not what I want to do. But if this same technology is used by a publisher, that is, some organization that actually selects works it thinks it can sell, then it becomes "real" publishing. I think it's great that publishing technology becomes cheaper and easier, but we'll always feel a need for some critical filter -- editors and publishers in some form -- even if they make mistakes and can't always tell the wheat from the chaff. Because the amount of verbiage available for reading is too daunting. Scribd Invites Writers to Upload Work and Name Their Price - NYTimes.com

God Talk, Part 2 - Stanley Fish Blog - NYTimes.com

This makes a lot of sense to me. I don't use a god myself and don't feel that I need one, but if you do, and if it helps you in some way to get through the dark nights, I'm not going to tell you it doesn't exist. And even if I did, you wouldn't believe me. God Talk, Part 2 - Stanley Fish Blog - NYTimes.com