Last night, I watched Katie Ledecky summarily win Gold in the 400 Freestyle in Rio, beating her own world record (which she herself made earlier in the day, no less) by nearly two seconds and beating the next closest swimmer by five seconds. I’m still sweating just thinking about it. After the race, Ledecky told an interviewer beside the pool that she knew she would win and get the time she did because the swim she’d made earlier that morning had felt so good and she knew she had more in her. It’s inspiring witnessing athletes at the top of their games. It’s inspiring to witness that level of confidence in one’s own abilities, a confidence that isn’t cocky, but instead is just calm and knowing and comes from hours and hours of practice.
My God, the Olympic Games have been a welcome dose of positivity for me in a summer that has been filled with unrelenting negativity. In a world that seems broken by bravado and bluster, the athletes at the games offer a humble antidote.
On that note, here’s what’s coming up this week at Atticus Review…
This Week at the journal
We will have Part Three in a series of conversations between Georgia poets Anya Silver and Sara Hughes about poetry, teaching and cancer. Here is Part One, which we ran in June. And here is Part Two, which ran last week. We will also have a humor column and a music column from regular contributors Dorothy Bendel and Nathan Leslie. And finally, we will have a mixed-media piece brought to you by Editor Matt Mullins.
I’m excited to announce our newest staff member. Dorothy Bendel, who has been writing a humor column for Atticus Review for the past several months, will be joining the journal as the newest Nonfiction Editor. Dorothy is the author of Expatriate (Finishing Line Press) and has had work published in a wide variety of publications, including The Rumpus and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She currently lives in Washington, DC where she writes and teaches.
Also, while I mentioned this last week, I want to more formally introduce the new Managing Editor Michelle Greco. Michelle is a poet who both lives and teaches in New Jersey. She holds an MFA from Drew University and is the author of the chapbook Field Guide to Fire (also, coincidentally, with Finishing Line Press, 2015).
Book Reviews Editor Search
Would you like to write book reviews for Atticus Review? If so, contact me (David) at atticusreview at gmail dot com and tell me so.
Web Site Changes
We’ve been working for the past few weeks on revamping the site a bit. Not so much visually, but in the navigation and presentation of content. We are making past issues easier to find. We are working on a better tagging system for existing content. A lot of these changes will probably go unnoticed. In fact, if these changes are successful, they will go almost entirely unnoticed. But they will deliver unto you a deeper level of consciousness and understanding. It’s a tall order, I know. But we’ll see how it goes…
Last week, my friend pointed me to this short piece from artist Willem de Kooning. This passage, which is kind of about overcoming the burden of what has already been done (in art, in writing), really resonated with me and I wanted to share it with y’all …
In art, one idea is as good as another. If one takes the idea of trembling, for instance, all of a sudden most of art starts to tremble. Michelangelo starts to tremble. El Greco starts to tremble. All the Impressionists start to tremble. The Egyptians are trembling invisibly and so do Vermeer and Giacometti and all of a sudden, for the time being, Raphael is languid and nasty; Cézanne was always trembling but very precisely.
The only certainty today is that one must be self-conscious. The idea of order can only come from above. Order, to me, is to be ordered about and that is a limitation.
An artist is forced by others to paint out of his own free will. If you take the attitude that it is not possible to do something, you have to prove it by doing it.
Art should not have to be a certain way. It is no use worrying about being related to something it is impossible not to be related to.
Okay, I’m going to go back to watching Olympic Swimming now.
Have a good week. Make good things. Begin anyway.