What We’re Reading – Kirby Olson

What We’re Reading

In a new seasonal feature, QR writers tell us what’s on their reading lists for the summer. This time – KIRBY OLSON

I have a few books in mind. One is Teach Yourself Finnish. I’m a bit stuck, but intend to “finish”. Also, Finland’s War of Choice: the Troubled German-Finnish Coalition in World War II, by Henrik Lunde. I also have a book on Finnish grammar.  (My wife is a Finn.)

Also, Tales of the Rose Tree, Ravishing Rhododendrons and their Travels Around the World, by Jane Brown. L’Etat et Ses Limites, by Edouard Laboulaye (French guy who was a scholar of the American Constitution and had the idea for the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor). I’m about half way through these books. I should also read Adam Smith, and some composition text books, but probably won’t.

The Human Image: Avant-Garde and Christian, by Richard E. Sherrell.  It’s subtitled New Perspectives on the Theatre of the Absurd. I’m trying to resurrect a liaison between Christianity and the avant-garde art world, esp. via my blog, Lutheran Surrealism.

I also want to read a few contemporary poets such as Catherine Savage Brosman and Jill Essbaum (a naughty Lutheran), and other Christian poets who are also steeped in the avant-garde. Know any?  The last really important one was Marianne Moore.

KIRBY OLSON is an academic and a poet, and blogs at Lutheran Surrealism


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2 Responses to What We’re Reading – Kirby Olson

  1. Derek Turner says:

    Adam Smith is an admittedly dreary read, but then it is his “dismal” subject matter that is to blame. Far better to put off reading it until the gloomy weather is back! The Finnish grammar sounds terrifying enough.
    We’ve got a few Catharine Savage Brosman poems coming out in the QR

  2. Kirby Olson says:

    I find Smith amusing here and there but the print size in my edition is only 9 pt. I am almost thinking of switching to Kindle or Nook to get the print blown up to 14 pt. Finnish grammar is terrifying. But it’s not nearly as bad as the Finnish Continuation War in which Hitler and Mannerheim teamed up to take on the Soviet Union under Stalin. They fought above the Arctic Circle for years in nondescript areas in which the only roads were reindeer trails. Trying to push divisions across frozen waste lands! The grain shipments were late because the ports of Finland had frozen! Hitler had lunch with Mannerheim on the latter’s birthday and said, “Let us take care of your Jewish problem.” Mannerheim responded, “We don’t have a Jewish problem.” They did have 6000 Jews. There are still about 6-8000 Jews in Finland. Mannerheim didn’t give any of them up (except three that had German passports). Compared to that, Finnish grammar is almost a picnic.

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