Patrick Madden teaches writing at Brigham Young University and is the author of the essay collection Quotidiana. His essays frequently appear in literary magazines and have been featured in The Best Creative Nonfiction and The Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies....more
Posts Tagged: tragedy
To memorialize a tragedy, one must inscribe unmistakable significance into reticent materials, attempting to curb the natural processes of forgetting and obsolescence.
For The Nation, Becca Rothfeld writes about W.G. Sebald, author of The Emigrants, among others, and his obsession with artistic expression as the aestheticization of truth, almost necessarily a “mangling,” when the goal is to memorialize or find deeper truth in the wake of tragedy and violence....more
Rumpus Interviews Editor Ben Pfeiffer discusses the complete loss of hope in Anton Chekhov’s literary works, in relation to modern TV shows such as The Leftovers and The Walking Dead. Pfeiffer wonders why people have continued to, watch, read, and create these dark, despairing works when we already live in a world of tragedy:
…a dispassionate search for truth isn’t just one kind of artists’ quest — it’s also a habit one must cultivate.
As I worked, filing reports every night from a hotel room, the details nagged at me. Her mother, Japa Tamang, was living in an open-sided shed once used to store grain, in hills still shuddering from aftershocks. My husband had the idea of giving her a ride back to Kathmandu and a plane ticket to Delhi, and this idea cheered me up greatly.
A standout record in Mark Kozelek’s long career is the critically-lauded 2014 release, Benji. The presence of everyday tragedies permeates the record and propels the keening voice of Kozelek, aka Sun Kil Moon. On “Micheline,” he offers us three stories whose sad endings are complicated by a rich, guitar-driven melody in a major key....more
Check out these tasty Rumpus morsels, posted over the weekend!
Wendy Ortiz interviews poet Louise Mathias about beauty, ecstasy, and eroticism…and “snakes and horses and sky and birds and hallucinogenic flowers, and stars, and the smell of creosote after rain, and…”
When journalist Maggie Downs lost a friend in a skydiving accident, many of her writer acquaintances filled her “voicemail…with interview requests instead of well wishes.” In her Sunday Rumpus essay “Spill,” Downs tries to figure out what role journalism has in times of tragedy:
Are these articles designed to tell us that humans suffer?