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Wednesday, 26 January 2005
Topic: From the editor
Hello dear reader, Just a note to explain the recent absence...I've been busy with the production of Margin's 5th Anniversary edition (lots of extra features!) and the schedule's a bit tight. I'll return to this discussion on Friday, January 28. Thanks for your patience.

Posted by at 4:49 PM PST
Updated: Friday, 4 February 2005 1:00 PM PST
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Saturday, 15 January 2005
Topic: From the editor
Please pardon this brief departure from the discussion.

Below is Tamara Sellman's prelude to her reading of a section of Pearl S. Buck's The Big Wave, to be presented at A Wave of Caring: a concert for tsunami relief to be held at the Bainbridge High School gymnasium on Sunday January 16 at 3pm in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

"I read the story, The Big Wave, about a year ago to my daughters as a bedtime story.

The Big Wave is the prizewinning children's book written by Pearl Buck, about a Japanese fishing village that is wiped out by a tsunami.

One year later, I am tucking my oldest daughter in one night, and we are discussing the tsunami when she asks, Is it like The Big Wave?

I am reminded then how providing a human context for the disastrous events of our lives, big and small, close and far away, is essential for healing the human spirit.

Watching the TV news or reading the paper only provides information and facts, but information and facts are not enough to help people, including children, to cope with bad news.

I've found, as a lifelong writer, that literature is one of the best ways to explore the uncertainties that befall the human condition. The Big Wave filled in blanks for my daughter that I was not sure I could fill in myself.

When I tell my daughter that, Yes, the tsunami is the same thing as The Big Wave, she does not respond with fear. Instead, I see her process the comparison, and her next response is not one of panic, but of compassion. How can we help? she asks. How can we help?

Thanks to Pearl Buck my daughter makes that important leap. She understands that if we share and have faith as a global community, life will persist."

Posted by at 3:21 PM PST
Updated: Friday, 4 February 2005 12:49 PM PST
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Thursday, 11 November 2004
Introducing Margin's TWO-WAY MIRROR ~ a magical realist reading diary
Topic: From the editor
I recently had the pleasure of hearing Alberto Manguel read from his A Reading Diary at the fabulous Vancouver Public Library complex. I was inspired by his project. Manguel essentially selected a book he'd already read in the past and decided to reread it again and keep a reader's diary of his responses to the text as he read each book.

In January 2005, I will offer a small reading diary addressing my own experiences rereading various works of literary magical realism in a new monthly column. I've decided to dub it TWO-WAY MIRROR to suggest the interactive way in which literature informs our lives, as well as the way we bring our lives into the literature we read.

I'm excited by the idea?I'm always trying to find ways to concentrate my reading time. A reader's diary seems like the perfect way to do this. I hope you'll enjoy the thoughts and notes and links that arise from this project. It's just one of many ways we plan to celebrate Margin's 5th anniversary as an electronic anthology.

Below, please find the TWO-WAY MIRROR lineup for 2005. All of these titles currently reside on my home bookshelf:

January ~ "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (short story from Leaf Storm and Other Stories)

February ~ The Passion by Jeannette Winterson (novel)

March ~ The Sand Child by Tahar Ben-Jelloun (world literature)

April ~ The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (children's literature)

May ~ Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (classic novel in translation; I presently own the Norton Critical Edition edited by Diana de Armas Wilson and translated by Burton Raffel, but could easily be talked into reading the newest Edith Grossman translation instead)

June ~ The Woman Who Fell From The Sky by Joy Harjo (poetry)

July ~ Seven Nights by Jorge Luis Borges (lectures)

August ~ To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (novel)

September ~ James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (children's literature)

October ~ A Blessing on the Moon by Joseph Skibell (novel)

November ~ "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce (short story from Civil War Stories)

December ~ The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (novella)

Once TWO-WAY MIRROR goes live, subscribers to Margin will be automatically notified of these new additions to Margin. Those interested in responding to the diary entries will be invited to share their own thoughts through links contained within the feature.

As you begin to anticipate the coming year, you might also think about creating a diary of reread books. Consider this an experiment for the coming seasons of reading. It could make for interesting commentary in your book group, for instance, or it could be just the ticket you need for keeping up your annual reading resolution. It might also force you to read books that matter (who would reread books that didn't?).

At any rate, I don't believe any book is read the same way by any one reader the second time around. Rereading is not only about encountering the words again, but about interacting with books on a new, more personal level. The words of familiar books can become memory, emotion and intellectual experience when encountered again.

?Tamara Kaye Sellman is founding editor and publisher of Margin.

Posted by at 9:09 AM PST
Updated: Friday, 4 February 2005 3:33 PM PST
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