The Lit’ry Life: week of March 7

Fans of the longform are probably aware of Instapaper, but in case you haven’t, I’d highly recommend installing this useful utility which lets you save web pages/articles for consumption later.

The New York Times extols the virtues of Amazon’s Singles program — low priced, long essays from known and unknown writers.  Lawrence Lessig on campaign finance, Jeff Jarvis on Leonard DaVinci, and much more. Prices are usually under $2.00. Check out the catalogue, I am even tempted to write up my church adventures and submit it to Amazon versus a classic book publisher.

New to the coffee table this week is filmcomment, a bi-monthly journal of film criticism published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and an unexpected benefit of membership in that august society of wanna-be auteurs. The M arch/April issue has a piece (unavailable online) on two of my favorite film makers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne: the Flemish brother duo who have won more Cannes Film Festival awards than any other film makers in history.

“…the Dardennes have come to be the most acute observers of the new European proletariat, deprived of all protection by the implosion of the Eastern Bloc and the weakening of traditional social safety nets, as churches and unions become less and less powerful for their constituents. Without the support of these institutions, the Dardennes’ characters are reduced to a state of vulnerability.”

In the men-wh0-climb-mountains genre, Atlantic Monthly has American climbing legend Ed Viesturs recount his first oxygen-less ascent of Everest, the 1990 “Peace Climb”

” Climbing without oxygen and sleeping without oxygen, I didn’t think I could spend the night at 28,000 feet. The “Death Zone” simply means that above a certain altitude, you can’t live forever. You could lie in your tent, flat on your back, eat a bunch of food, drink water, and your body would still slowly wither away, because there’s not enough oxygen to build tissue. “

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

2 thoughts on “The Lit’ry Life: week of March 7”

  1. Ed’s a good friend & has been an inspiration since our college years. His extraordinary gift (he must have some sort of enzyme that blocks the release of lactic acid) , coupled w/ his instincts, will to overcome human limitations, motivation & caution enabled him to become the first American to climb all fourteen of our planets tallest mountains (20,000’+) w/o the use of supplemental oxygen. Plus he has a veterinarian degree! All this from a guy from Central Illinois who discovered his talent for conquering heights while working as a guide on Mt Rainier during Univ Wa. summer break. He’s spent more time in the death zone w/o oxygen tanks than anyone…He is mentioned prominently in Krakauer’s ‘Into Thin Air’ & w/ David Brashears has published a remarkable book w/ high def pics of Everest..Ed is also able to drink beer like a Viking @ sea level!


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