Author Archives: Will

Remembering and Celebrating Will Owen

On January 29, 2016, several hundred people gathered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to remember and celebrate Will Owen. Will worked at the UNC-Chapel Hill University Library for four decades. Here is a brief description of … Continue reading

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In Memoriam

On this day, five year ago, December 2, 2015, the author of this blog, Will Owen, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing some unpublished writings and other reminiscences of Will. If any … Continue reading

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Huck Finn’s Identity

I know it’s foolish to try to nominate a single work of art (or anything else for that matter) as quintessentially American (or anything else for that matter).  It’s a parlor game akin to desert isle choices and the favorite … Continue reading

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Views from the Whitney

We were in New York City recently for a very extended weekend.  One of the major highlights we were looking forward to was a visit to the new Whitney Museum of American Art, relocated to Chelsea at the very foot … Continue reading

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The String Band Mid-Stream

On one of the furtive escapes into Manhattan I made with my friends Tommy and Jimmy during high school, we were hanging out in Greenwich Village when a Bob-Dylan-wannabe-look-alike on the corner of Bleecker and Macdougall offered us tickets to … Continue reading

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Psychedelic Fever

Start with a base of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor; add a dash of Ravel’s Bolero early on.  Blend in Vanilla Fudge liberally, and do it with Love.  Layer in some heavy soul, and sprinkle liberally with Seeds. … Continue reading

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Detectives Without Borders

Reading genre fiction offers a host of pleasures.  There’s a certain predictability—in the case of detective fiction these days, often a quirky character who inner life or family life can provide continuity across a series of novels.  Plots can surprise … Continue reading

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Mix Tape #1

The musical landscape in my head has changed a lot lately.  I guess this all goes back to seeing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in Paris last year.  And then last November at Lincoln Center, the Bach Mass in B Minor.  In … Continue reading

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Rethinking the Beach Boys

Although the classic question of rock ‘n’ roll in the mid-Sixties was “Beatles or Stones?” in the neighborhood where I grew up there was more of a nationalistic cast to the debate: it was “Beatles or Beach Boys?”  Sociologically, in … Continue reading

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Highway 61, Revisited

Many months ago I wrote a review of Vidar Sundstøl’s Land of Dreams, the first volume in his Minnesota Trilogy.  In it, a vacationing Norwegian tourist is found bludgeoned to death on Highway 61 along the northern shore of Lake … Continue reading

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