— Field Notes


William Blake : Ah! Sunflower

Ah! sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;

Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire;
Where my sunflower wishes to go.

William Blake (1757-1827)

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2666 published posthumously in Spain in 2004 one year after the death of Mr. Bolaño, the now famous and celebrated Chilean author, is a complex and convoluted tale with a grand and dark cast of characters.

“ I conceive, in a very humble way, the totality of my oeuvre in prose, and even some of my poetry, as a whole. A whole not only stylistic, but also narrative. The characters are continously dialoging among them and they are appearing and dissapearing. “ – Robert Bolaño

If Mr. Bolaño is describing his complete body of work in the above quote, 2666 must be considered the Mother Lode. 2666 and Bolaño other work can be consider a break from the cliched “Magic Realism” popular in Latin American Fiction. Bolaño and authors like Ignacio Padilla have choosen to leave the magic behind and focus more on character and plot ala Julio Cortázar and Jorge Luis Borges.

2666 is broken into multiple sections or novellas that placed together make a whole. The dark core of the novel focuses on Saint Teresa which is a fictional representation of Ciudad Juárez, the border town, site of many grisly murders of women and girls. These murders are fictionalized and documented by Bolaño and make for difficult reading. 2666 is both linear and a non-linear in style. It consists of stories within stories, many of the characters tell stories to each other or relate dreams to the reader. It makes for a complex plot.

The center of the novel called The Part About The Crimes is more realistic less poetic more like reportage. The real Ciudad Juárez is a part of a vast “Metroplex” of more than 2 million people. It is in the junture of three states Texas, New Mexico and Chilhuahua Mexico. It is the largest border community in the world and is growing at an astounding 5% a year. In 2666 Ciudad Juárez is a nightmare world.

I can’t conclude this brief review with out a few words of praise for the translator Natasha Wimmer. She has done a herculean job and done it well.

Reprinted from Text Northwest

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Objects for a sustainable world, Bruce Sterling explains his idea of the Spime. See book for complete explanation, Shaping Things.


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The celebrating the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces,  this video will be run in thousands of places online as a PSA.


Thank you United Nations, thank you George.

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Keith Olbermann is not afraid to talk truth to power, watch him rip Bush a new one in this opinion piece.

Special thanks to Max Zeledon for finding this gem.

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British photographer Christian Payne, has created a documentary with the help of Bill Cammack that reports on a hidden crisis. This crisis is very important and needs more illumination, the documentary focuses on Iraqi refugees in Jordan, the problem transcend Jordan, there are refugees in Syria and other gulf countries. This crisis is vast, millions of people are effected. It is the US responsibility to help find a solution.

I was effected by Mr. Payne’s stories and the documentary; my response was to forward a link for the video to my two state Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

Here is a link to the video:


This week marks the 5th anniversary of the start of the Iraqi invasion. With the end of the Bush Administration in sight, it is a good time focus on a humanitarian  approach and draw away from the military actions that have been the US focus for the last five years.

Working with Iraq’s neighboring countries and and other nations we can focus our efforts on helping the people of Iraq, the U.S. is responsible for the refugee problem and the  destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure. Lets put down the weapons and begin rebuilding the devastated lives of refugees and those still in country.

Let the Iraq people settle their internal security concerns, let us start helping instead of killing. If engaged properly the other countries of the region will help, it is in their interest to do so.

I urge you to watch  Christian Payne’s documentary, it may move you to action as well.

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