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"Whoever starts out one fine day wringing his/her hands and going: "Hm, a quarter million words, hm? Why not?" must be bonkers. I am not. But I am a writing wuss. I float with the flow, I roll with the punches. When your story runs away with you, and decides she wants to multiply and have some bastardly subplots of her own and play some coy games of deception and deceit with her author -- who am I not to follow?"
Yevtushenko seems to regard the maturing of his legacy with a wary eye. Since the 1980s, critics have raised serious doubts about Yevtushenko’s dissident reputation. When he was elected as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, fellow poet Joseph Brodsky resigned in protest, calling Yevtushenko a party yes-man and insisting, “He throws stones only in directions that are officially sanctioned and approved.” But at 74, Yevtushenko has not abandoned his sincerity. The title of his forthcoming collection of memoirs, Schestu Decatnik (Sixties Parachute Man) is a neologism likening Yevtushenko’s confrontation with the present to that of a Green Beret soldier parachuting into enemy territory -- the surreal landscape of the 21st century.
"What is it about the world, about society that makes people feel a lack of or longing for identity? To either keep a public blog of all their daily activities, thoughts, desires, etc., or pore themselves into researching distant and obscure relatives? To scan, organize and preserve hundred year old family photographs, or watercolor the house where they raised their children. But this question brings me right back around to this: that the truth of what really happened in any past isn't as important as the ways, and the reasons, and the methods of recreating (even reliving) memory."
"The underground needs to be kept a self-identifying structure. It needs to be open and it needs to be something that everyone can access. The problem is that we’ve allowed the corporate influence in our culture to be so strong that now they’re identifying as part of the underground as well. I think starting to draw those lines and delineate who is and isn’t a member of the underground is maybe not the way to approach this, but I’m not quite sure what is."
What Verlyn Klinkenborg reveals, through Timothy, is that we humans don’t understand other animals nearly as well as we like to think. At the same time we are all too certain that our powers of reasoning are unique upon this Earth, when in fact, we are surrounded by other sentient beings, other awarenesses flying above us or brachiating past us in the tree canopy or reptiling along at a slow pace at our feet.
Barbara J. King