For Madmen Only

by Matthew Koslowski on November 4, 2009
in Essays

In This Essay

Steppenwolf: A Novel by Hermann Hesse (Basil Creighton, trans.)
The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats (Richard J. Finneran, ed.)
Don Juan in Hell: From Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw
 

Last night I finished rereading Steppenwolf. I had put it down for a while and flitted among the arts.

I know for certain I am in the middle of two other novels. But I think I may have forgotten that I am in the middle of any number of others.

The past few weeks have been filled with theatre and opera.

As if that were not enough, I have been reading from the poetry of Rumi, W.B. Yeats, and John Keats. In fact, I have been working on memorizing Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale.” I have the first stanza of ten lines memorized; only seventy lines left to commit to memory.

“Why are you spreading yourself so thin?” I asked myself earlier.

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Of Steppenwolves and Hedgehogs

by Matthew Koslowski on September 16, 2009
in Essays

One night in May while walking around the MFA, I was reunited with some old friends. Though the paintings and sculptures have settled here in Boston and need to be visited in person, I had pictures of many of them, just like having photographs of friends in an album.

A few weeks ago, I was again reunited with an old friend while pawing through boxes of books that I have not unpacked.

But this friend, this dear old friend who reached out to tell me my own story, who I called godfather, was always with me. With me when I moved to Ohio for college. With me when I fled Ohio for Chicago. And with me on my return to Massachusetts and Boston.

That this friend, Harry Haller, did not have pride of place, that he was packed away in a box embarrasses me not a little. He should have sat always at my right hand.

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