December 28, 2014

Belleville Park Pages (Late June 2014 edition)
Published by James Bird and Will Cox

The Necessity of Art – We live largely unsettled lives in a world filled with much uncertainty, which exists in a vast, mostly unknown universe. That sparks the fires of fear, which lead to things like religion, the suburbs, fast food, and the nauseating bleating that passes for political discourse in the United States of America. Entertainment is designed to quell such fundamental fear, to comfort us by confirming what we know. Art, on the other hand, is intended to confuse us by complicating our understanding of life – and by raising questions that are difficult to answer. Artists, then, are revolutionaries – and that explains why you often must look for artists in the small presses rather than in more commercial venues. My husband, the magician Robert Charles, and I met Will Cox at the door of Shakespeare & Company this past autumn. Robert and I were enjoying our honeymoon in Paris. Will was overseeing crowd control by limiting the number of visitors who could enter the great bookstore at one time. (Imagine that! Crowd control for a bookstore! But, then again, Shakespeare & Company is a sort of literary nightclub.) Will and his mates produce Belleville Park Pages to showcase “fresh writing by contemporary writers.” They’ve featured 177 authors from 22 countries across six continents. Their work is well-worth reading – and well-worth supporting if you have a few bucks to share.


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