Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Activity!

Hey Everyone!

Got a minute? Then help us write a poem! Here's how:

1. Read what we've got so far in the comments section.
2. Go here and pick a line you like from one of the random poems you find (preferably, one that kind of fits into our current poem!).
3. Continue the poem by posting the line you chose (along with the poem it's from and the author who wrote it) in the comments section.
4. Sit back and watch the poem grow!

Who knows? Maybe if the poem is awesome enough, we'll even publish it in R2!

Monday, September 28, 2009

R2 Reading Series and Free Coffee Night!

Hey R2ers!

On Thursday, October 8 from 7 to 8 PM we will have our first of a series of readings at Coffee House. There will be FREE coffee, iced tea, and snacks, so come check it out!

If you're feeling brave and want to read your work, send us an email at r2mag@rice.edu before Tuesday, October 6.

See you there!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another favorite quote post

"You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy."

From Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

I suppose I'm a bit late to the party, but I had a hard time choosing. This has been a favorite of mine since high school, and it's probably the best I'll be able to come up with that isn't a huge spoiler.

-Russ Horres, Assoc. Fiction Editor

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Michelle Phillips - Editor-at-Large, Wiess College Rep)

"Oh, children," said the Lion, "I feel my strength coming back to me. Oh, children, catch me if you can!" He stood for a second, his eyes very bright, his limbs quivering, lashing himself with his tail. Then he made a leap high over their heads and landed on the other side of the Table. Laughing, though she didn't know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leaped again. A mad chase began. Round and round the hilltop he led them, now hopelessly out of their reach, no letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy laughing heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one has ever had except in Narnia; and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind."

-C.S. Lewis: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Friday, September 18, 2009

Simple Justice (Sunkyo Lee, Duncan College Rep)

The plight of the ageing black railroadmen moved Houston deeply as he threw his energies into litigation to prevent further and faster attirition in their ranks. .....Joseph Waddy, Houston's law partner recalls..."I remember once we were in the home of a lblack brakeman in Roanoke,... There must have been fifteen or twnety brakemen sitting around with us, all of them fifty years old or more, and there was this one old-timer who must have been seventy and was all white-haired, who was carrying on about how they had to save their jobs for their children and grandchildren, so there would be other generations of black men on the railroads. And then the old timer used this phrase that filled Charlie [Houston] up emotionally. He said they also had to save the jobs for themselves and protect 'these old heads blooming for the grave.' Charlie never forgot that. The railroadmen loved him. They'd do anything he asked."

Richard Kluger, Simple Justice

The Great Gatsby (Jasmine Elliott- Editor at Large)

"He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself."

The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Lolita (Jo Hsu, Fiction Editor)

I'm going to break the rules (are there rules?) and post two quotes. It's an oldie, but a goodie. And honestly, I believe, it is the best opening in literary history (at least to the best of my knowledge)

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

- Vladimir Nabokov

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender (Jo Hsu, Fiction Editor)

"I think of that girl I read about in the paper - the one with the flammable skirt. She'd bought a rayon chiffon skirt, purple with wavy lines all over it. She wore it to a party and was dancing, too close to the vanilla-smelling candles, and suddenly she lit up like a pine needle torch. When the boy dancing next to her felt the heat and smelled the plasticky smell, he screamed and rolled the burning girl up in the carpet. She got third-degree burns up and down her thighs. But what I keep wondering about is this: that first second when she felt her skirt burning, what did she think? Before she knew it was the candles, did she think she'd done it herself? With the amazing turns of her hips and the warmth of the music inside her, did she believe, for even one glorious second, that her passion had arrived?"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Still Life with Oysters and Lemon by Mark Doty (Lissa Glasgo, Managing Editor)

...and that is what I feel Paul and I are doing today, taking in and taking in, joined to a brethren of the lovers of this world. Who go about their seeing -- by lens and by canvas, by microscope and camera obscura, by notebook and daybook -- as if it were the most crucial work we could choose.

An Essay concerning Human Understanding (quote provided by Vanessa Johnson, Associate Poetry Editor)

"A studious blind Man, who had mightily beat his head about visible Objects, and made use of the explication of his Books and Friends, to understand those names of Light, and Colours, which often came in his way; bragg'd one day, That he now understood what Scarlet signified. Upon which his Friend demanding, what Scarlet was? the blind Man answered, It was like the Sound of a Trumpet. Just such an Understanding of the name of any other simple Idea will he have, who hopes to get it only from a Definition, or other Words made use of to explain it."

--John Locke, Book II Chapter iv Section 11 of An Essay concerning Human Understanding

[Thought I'd share a bit of poetic philosophy.]

White Noise by Don DeLillo (Coert Voorhees, Parks Fellow)

He fell silent once more. People with cameras left the elevated site, replaced at once by others.
"We're not here to capture an image, we're here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies."
There was an extended silence. The man in the booth sold postcards and slides.
"Being here is a kind of spiritual surrender. We see only what the others see. The thousands who were here in the past, those who will come in the future. We've agreed to be part of a collective perception. This literally colors our vision. A religious experience in a way, like all tourism."
Another silence ensued.
"They are taking pictures of taking pictures," he said.
He did not speak for a while. We listened to the incessant clicking of shutter release buttons the rustling crank of levers that advanced the film.
"What was the barn like before it was photographed?" he said. "What did it look like, how was it different from other barns, how was it similar to other barns? We can't answer these questions because we've read the signs, seen the people snapping pictures. We can't get outside the aura. We're part of the aura. We're here, we're now."
He seemed immensely pleased by this.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Welcome (Again) / Deadline Update

To all you Ricers stopping by:
Welcome to R2! We want to get to know you. If you've got some free time, pick a passage you like from a book you love and post it (and your name, if you want) as a comment to this post. If this activity doesn't tickle your fancy (you don't have anything in mind, you don't read, you hate books, you don't feel like searching through Wikiquote), check back later for some creative writing ideas and our next activity. We'll update the blog fairly frequently, and maybe you'll find something to spark your creativity!

Also, an important note:
The deadline for cover art submissions has been changed to November 6.

Catch-22 (Stephanie McLeod, Publicity Manager/Assoc. Fiction Editor)

"'Who is Spain?'
'Why is Hitler?'
'When is right?'
'Where was that stooped and mealy-colored old man I used to call Poppa when the merry-go-round broke down?'
'How was trump at Munich?'
'Ho-ho beriberi.'
all rang out in rapid succession, and then there was Yossarian with the question that had no answer:
'Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?'"

-- Joseph Heller

Friday, September 11, 2009

This is What We're Into...+ Cherry series

Hello lovelies,

To showcase our literary interests as well as to get to know each other, we're starting a series of fun activities on this blog for R2 staff and the rest of the study body. This first one will be an informal introduction to everyone in R2. It's all about...what books we like. Just leave an excerpt/passage from a book (nonfiction/fiction) you've enjoyed with the title of the book, the author's name, your name and your staff position. It's that easy.
If you're not a staff but just want to contribute as a fellow Rice community member, feel free to leave comments about your favorite passages in the Comments section of this post!

Also, John Pipkin, author of Woods Burner, is coming to Rice on Friday, September 25 to give a reading. It will be at the Duncan College Masters' House at 4PM. Here is a little info about him:

John Pipkin currently lives in Austin, Texas, where he has worked as the Executive Director of the Writers’ League of Texas, a non-profit, literary arts organization. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he attended Washington & Lee University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received his Ph.D. in British Literature from Rice University in 1997. He has taught writing and literature at Saint Louis University, Boston University, and Southwestern University. Woods Burner is his first novel. His appearance at Rice is sponsored by the English department’s Minter Endowment and the Fondren Library Cherry Series.

I haven't read his book which is based on the life of Henry David Thoreau during the period when he was writing Walden, but words are it's fabulous. Here's a link to Boston Globe's review of his book: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/04/12/woods_burner/