A recap of the week at Atticus Review, along with some extras.
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Dear Friend,

Good morning. Happy Memorial Day Weekend. I hope you will be heartily engaged in the having of fun at some point this weekend. If you live in the North Jersey area as I do, maybe you are going "down the shore." I have lived in North Jersey eight years and I have yet to go "down the shore." I don't know how this has happened (or how it did not happen). I'm embarrassed about it. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed using the expression. I have enjoyed pretending as though I am "in the know" about a thing like going "down the shore." 

I like expressions like these: local expressions, local uses of language. These form and forge a certain reality in the mind. In this case, the reality of living in a place like New Jersey. And it makes us feel good, doesn't it? To be around people who use language the same way we do?

I have a group of friends from high school who I don't see very often anymore. Back then, when we were hanging out together every day, during lunch period, or our newspaper class, or at one of our houses, we developed a way of using language with one another. I can't point to any specific expressions. Rather, it was more like we had a shared way of talking. I don't see them very often anymore, but when I do, I'm comforted by that: by our shared use of language. By our shared ways of talking. Our shared understanding of meaning and intent. We didn't always agree, but we at least had that, and that affirmed our sense of reality.

It has felt to me, and I think a lot of people, that we're losing a shared use of language. Like our very words and the meaning behind them are in question. And that has made it seem to me like my very notion of reality is in question. I'm finding that in my day-to-day interactions I don't assume anything is real anymore. The "trusted" sources are no longer. I've typically been somebody comfortable with a tenuous reality. (I've always felt as though we're probably living in a giant M.C. Escher painting, and mostly I've been okay with that.) But there have always been certain anchors I could rely on. And since last summer, it feels sort of like they've all been lifted. 

There's a thing I'm linking to below about reality. It's a discussion between Manoush Zomorodi, host of Note to Self, and Brooke Gladstone host of On the Media. These two shows have been doing great things to expose some of the causes of why this shift in reality is happening in our culture. They don't necessarily find any answers, but when I listen to these podcasts I'm comforted by the fact that they are struggling with the same problem. It makes me feel briefly anchored. It makes me feel as though I have a shared language again.

We have some great pieces below. We hope you enjoy them. We hope when you read this week's Weekly Atticus you will feel briefly anchored. 

We're glad you're here.


David Olimpio, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

THIS WEEK AT ATTICUS

FERAL TOWN by Adam Gustavson

CARMINE
BOOK REVIEW: RUN, SCREAM, UNBURY, SAVE by Katherine McCord
Review by Ashley Miller

"RUN SCREAM UNBURY SAVE, sometimes as off-putting as its title, is strange and startlingly beautiful because McCord has miraculously captured on the page how life is off-putting. Art is off-putting. Creation is off-putting. There is no simply parsing and paring and splaying experiences into perfect dioramas. So McCord does it complicatedly. She brings you in close to watch her as she writes about living while writing about writing about life ... The result is RUN SCREAM UNBURY SAVE; a verbal kaleidoscope of experience and artistic creation."

READ MORE
FICTION: ALLIGATORS AT NIGHT
By Meg Pokrass

"You remember that your walk to the Seven-Eleven is glorious, you are both present but so quiet, the two of you loving the sound of strange overgrown creatures who are so close to you, but attached to their watery homes. Sometimes you can imagine these animals are chasing you and your husband all the way to the Seven-Eleven, but mostly you just think of them there in the dark, without alcohol and probably without love."

READ MORE
POETRY: I ASKED THE MAN MOWING
By J. R. Solonche 

"I asked the man mowing
the grass in the cemetery
what it was like to mow grass
in a cemetery. “Come on
over and see for yourself,”
he said..."

READ MORE
A MUSIC REVIEW ABOUT A BOOK: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S BORN TO RUN
By Nathan Leslie

"If you are already a Bruce Springsteen fan you will be elated at the behind-the-scenes dirt.  If you are not a fan you will still find the Boss’s ascent and narrative absorbing."

READ MORE
MAY'S AUTHOR NEWS!

With updates from Rachel Diken, Glen Pourciau, Erika Carter, Lana Spendl, Wyatt Bonikowski, Kayli Scholz, Paul Jaskunas, Danny Caine, Alice Kaltman, Amelia Zahm, Anna Lea Jancewicz, Steve McNutt, Sherrie Flick, Richard Fellinger, Paul Thelen, Angela Small.

Congrats to all of you!

READ MORE

FROM AROUND THE INTERNET

NOTE TO SELF: Wait, What IS Reality?

"The belief that Information, or the availability of information, makes people better informed. It seems tautological. But the fact is it isn’t true and it's never been true." - Brooke Gladstone

Have a Listen
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