Apparently, part of the magic of the Fung Wah bus when it is operating in beneficent mode is that I am able to read on it without getting nauseated. On the way to Boston I finished the Wire, read The Economist as well as the highly absorbing article in the New Yorker about Gertrude Stein. I’m guessing that the details of the disclosures therein about her right-wing tendencies are common knowledge to my many Stein-enthusiast friends. Esp. interested in Stein and Toklas paying to bust Nazi collaborator Bernard Fay out of jail. It made me think of the inverse moment when The Weather Underground broke Timothy Leary out of jail. Curious now if there is critical work on Stein that relates her reactionary/conservative tendencies to her poetics in some way? Has someone does this with Pound?
On the island I banned all electronic communication and kept reading to a minimum. I did bring two books, though. Writings of the Zen master Dogen (Northpoint) and Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire part two -- Faces and Masks (Quartet Books), two books that balanced each other out nicely. The Galeano book, in the course of its varied, clear and fluent historical multiplicities, contains some material appropriate to the current foreign policy of the US:
"In full imperial euphoria, the United states celebrates the conquest of the Hawaiian islands, Samoa and the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and some little islands eloquently named the Ladrones (Thieves). Now the pacific and Caribbean are North American lakes, and the United Fruit Company is coming to birth; but novelist Mark Twain, the old spoilsport, proposes changing the national flag: the white stripes should be black, he says, and the stars should be skulls and crossbones."