Letters to Kate

Author: Carl H. Klaus
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587296691
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Sorrow is “not a state but a process” that needs “not a map but a history. . . . There is something new to be chronicled every day,” writes C. S. Lewis in A Grief Observed. When Carl Klaus's wife of thirty-five years died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage, right before Thanksgiving in 2002, he took the only road toward recovery that made sense to him: he started writing letters to her, producing a unique history of grief, solace, and love. His vivid and thoughtful letters will resonate with everyone whose loss confronts them with emotional, psychological, and philosophical questions for which there are no easy answers. During his first year without Kate, Carl writes himself into the life that comes after the life he loved. From days of grief in the darkness of a midwestern winter, to springtime, with a return to life in the garden and a memorial service for Kate on a sunny afternoon, to fall, with a pilgrimage to their favorite vacation spot in Hawaii, Carl documents his year-long experience of remembering, meditating, and evolving a new life. Individually his letters provide the insights of a master diarist; collectively, they have the arc of a master essayist. Recording the full range of mourning from intense shock to moments of exceptional affirmation, Klaus's stories and reflections on loss bear witness to universal truths about the first and most significant year of mourning.

The Great Chain of Life

Author: Joseph Wood Krutch
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587298805
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Originally published in 1956, The Great Chain of Life brings a humanist’s keen eye and ear to one of the great questions of the ages: “What am I?” Originally a scholar of literature and theater, toward the end of his career Joseph Wood Krutch turned to the study of the natural world. Bringing his keen intellect to bear on the places around him, Krutch crafted some of the most memorable and important works of nature writing extant. Whether anticipating the arguments of biologists who now ascribe high levels of cognition to the so-called lower animals, recognizing the importance of nature for a well-lived life, or seeing nature as an elaborately interconnected, interdependent network, Krutch’s seminal work contains lessons just as resonant today as they were when the book was first written. Lavishly illustrated with thirteen beautiful woodcuts by Paul Landacre, an all-but-lost yet important Los Angeles artist whom Rockwell Kent called “the best American wood engraver working,” The Great Chain of Life will be cherished by new generations of readers.

Die Unvollendete

Author: Kate Atkinson
Publisher: Droemer eBook
ISBN: 3426420465
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Was wäre, wenn man sein Leben wieder und wieder leben könnte, bis man schließlich alles perfekt gemacht hätte? Wäre man dann ein glücklicher Mensch? Ursula Todd ist eine für ihre Zeit ganz besondere Frau: unabhängig, modern, realistisch. Mit Humor begegnet sie nicht nur ihrer skurrilen Familie, sondern auch den seltsamen Ereignissen in ihrem Leben. Wie jeder erlebt sie Situationen, in denen sie sich fragt: Was wäre, wenn? Was wäre geschehen, wenn sich ihre Teenagerliebe erfüllt hätte? Was wäre geschehen, wenn sie studiert hätte? Oder was wäre aus ihr geworden, wenn sie nicht in England, sondern in einem anderen Land aufgewachsen wäre? Wäre ihr Leben schrecklicher oder besser verlaufen? Doch anders als anderen Menschen bleibt es für Ursula nicht bei diesen Fragen. Ihr ist es gegeben, ihr Leben immer wieder zu korrigieren und damit jeden Fehler zu beseitigen. Dennoch erlebt sie Verlust, Verrat, Krieg und Tod. Was also soll diese Gabe? Ist es überhaupt möglich, sein Leben fehlerlos zu leben?

Grammar Lessons

Author: Michele Morano
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587297450
Format: PDF
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In the thirteen personal essays in Grammar Lessons, Michele Morano connects the rules of grammar to the stories we tell to help us understand our worlds. Living and traveling in Spain during a year of teaching English to university students, she learned to translate and interpret her past and present worlds—to study the surprising moments of communication—as a way to make sense of language and meaning, longing and memory. Morano focuses first on her year of living in Oviedo, in the early 1990s, a time spent immersing herself in a new culture and language while working through the relationship she had left behind with an emotionally dependent and suicidal man. Next, after subsequent trips to Spain, she explores the ways that travel sparks us to reconsider our personal histories in the context of larger historical legacies. Finally, she turns to the aftereffects of travel, to the constant negotiations involved in retelling and understanding the stories of our lives. Throughout she details one woman’s journey through vocabulary and verb tense toward a greater sense of her place in the world. Grammar Lessons illustrates the difficulty and delight, humor and humility of living in a new language and of carrying that pivotal experience forward. Michele Morano’s beautifully constructed essays reveal the many grammars and many voices that we collect, and learn from, as we travel.

Detailing Trauma

Author: Arianne Zwartjes
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1609381289
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In a series of linked lyric essays, Detailing Trauma explores in vivid, sometimes graphic detail the many types of wounds from which the human body and spirit may suffer—and heal. Mapping the diseases and injuries that can afflict the body, the author asks how we can continue to live and love in the face of the great potential for suffering and loss. She names each section of the book for body parts or processes, then juxtaposes the functions and failures of human anatomy with experiences in her own life and those of people she knows and loves, meticulously stitching together life’s fractures and ruptures with skillful narrative. Each essay offers glimpses of hope and reasons for living with the likelihood of chaos and pain, reasons for choosing to love despite the risks. Zwartjes’s beautifully crafted poetic prose humanizes the technical descriptions of medical conditions and illuminates the scientific understanding of emotional states. Far more than a popularization of science, Detailing Trauma explores the wondrous anatomy and physiology of the human body, a geography of our human frailties—and also our wealth, as humans, of love and hope and the capacity for meditative thought.

The Desert Year

Author: Joseph Wood Krutch
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 158729947X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Originally published: New York: W. Sloane Associates, c1952.

Weathering Winter

Author: Carl H. Klaus
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587291266
Format: PDF, ePub
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In winter, when the only things growing seem to be icicles and irritability, what pleasures exist for a gardener or for anyone who lives in a northern climate? In his distinctive daybook, Weathering Winter, Carl Klaus reminds readers that the season of brown twigs and icy gales is just as much a part of the year as when tulips open, tomatoes thrive, and pumpkins color the brown earth. From the first cold snap of late December 1994 to the first outdoor planting of onion sets and radish seeds in mid-March 1995, Klaus kept track of snow falling, birds flocking, soups simmering, gardening catalogs arriving, buds swelling, and seed trays coming to life. Gardeners, lovers of the out-of-doors, and weather watchers will recognize themselves in the ways in which Klaus has come to terms with the harsh climate and chilly truths that winter embodies. His constant, careful checks on the temperature and on the geraniums overwintering in the attic, his contentment in the basil- and garlic-flavored tomato sauce he cooked up from last season's crops, and his walks with his wife in the bitter chill of starry January nights reflect the pull between indoors and out, the contrast between the beauty and the cruelty of the season.

The Made Up Self

Author: Carl H. Klaus
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 9781587299469
Format: PDF, ePub
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The human presence that animates the personal essay is surely one of the most beguiling of literary phenomena, for it comes across in so familiar a voice that it’s easy to believe we are listening to the author rather than a textual stand-in. But the “person” in a personal essay is always a written construct, a fabricated character, its confessions and reminiscences as rehearsed as those of any novelist. In this first book-length study of the personal essay, Carl Klaus unpacks this made-up self and the manifold ways in which a wide range of essayists and essays have brought it to life. By reconceiving the most fundamental aspect of the personal essay—the I of the essayist—Klaus demonstrates that this seemingly uncontrived form of writing is inherently problematic, not willfully devious but bordering upon the world of fiction. He develops this key idea by explaining how structure, style, and voice determine the nature of a persona and our perception of it in the works of such essayists as Michel de Montaigne, Charles Lamb, E. B. White, and Virginia Woolf. Realizing that this persona is shaped by the force of culture and the impress of personal experience, he explores the effects of both upon the point of view, content, and voice of such essayists as George Orwell, Nancy Mairs, Richard Rodriguez, and Alice Walker. Throughout, in full command of the history of the essay, he calls up numerous passages in which essayists themselves acknowledge the element of impersonation in their work, drawing upon the perspectives of Joan Didion, Edward Hoagland, Joyce Carol Oates, Leslie Marmon Silko, Scott Russell Sanders, Annie Dillard, Vivian Gornick, Loren Eiseley, James Baldwin, and a host of other literary guides. Finally, adding yet another layer to the made-up self, Klaus succumbs to his addiction to the personal essay by placing some of the different selves that various essayists have called forth in him within the essays that he has crafted so carefully for this book. Making his way from one essay to the next with a persona variously learned, whimsical, and poignant, he enacts the palimpsest of ways in which the made-up self comes to life in the work of a single essayist. Thus over the course of this highly original, beautifully structured study, the personal essay is revealed to be more complex than many readers have supposed. With its lively analyses and illuminating examples, The Made-Up Self will speak to anyone who wishes to understand—or to write—personal essays.

A Self Made of Words

Author: Carl H. Klaus
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1609381947
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Confident or fretful, solemn or sassy, tough or tender, casual or formal: the self you project in writing—your persona—is the byproduct of numerous decisions you make about what to say and how to say it. Though any single word or phrase or sentence might make little difference within the scope of an entire essay or book, collectively they create an impression of who you are or seem to be—an impression that’s sure to influence how readers respond to your work. Thus it’s essential to take charge of how you come across on the page, to craft an appropriate persona for whatever you’re writing, whether it’s a personal essay, a blog, a technical report, a letter to the editor, or a memoir. In this wise and ingenious little guide, noted essayist Carl Klaus shows you how to adapt your self to the needs of such varied nonfiction, by varying his own persona to illustrate the distinctive effect produced by each aspect and element of writing. Klaus divides his book into two parts: first, an introduction to the nature and function of a persona, then a survey of the most important elements of writing that contribute to the character of a persona, from point of view and organization to diction and sentence structure. Both parts contain exercises that will give you practice in developing a persona of your choice. Challenging and stimulating, each of his exercises focuses on a distinctly different aspect of composition and style, so as to help you develop the skills of a versatile and personable writer. By focusing on the most important ways of projecting your self in nonfiction prose, you can learn to craft a distinctive self in your writing.