Author Connie Guzzo-McParland
Connie Guzzo-McParland is the author of The Girls of Piazza d'Amore, a first novel published by Linda Leith Publishing of September 14th, 2013. Literary critic Linda Morra conducted this interview with her on the eve of publication.
Jennifer Quist is an Alberta writer whose first novel, Love Letters of the Angels of Death, is published today by Linda Leith Publishing. This interview took place on the eve of publication.
This is what makes a culture, this kind of occasion, this play, this green sward, this shared delight, the company of all these friends and strangers. This is Shakespeare in the Park, thanks to Repercussion Theatre.
Julie Tamiko Manning as Titania and Alain Goulem as Bottom [Photo: Repercussion Theatre]
The Tate resurrected my joy. Perhaps a replica or reconstruction may have the tendency to kill the imagination or spirit. Perhaps there is a dark aspect to glorifications and resurrections from cultural graves.
Courtyard of the Tate Modern, London
The Commonwealth Foundation has announced shortlists for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Part of Commonwealth Writers, the prizes unearth, develop and promote the best new writing from across the Commonwealth, developing literary connections worldwide.
Photo courtesy Davide D'Alessandro
We all must eat to survive, but visitors to Italy are invited to join in a little activity, done three times daily, that is another pillar of the dolce vita, namely eating to have pleasure. And lots of it.
Another excerpt from Davide D'Alessandro's unpublished book The Dolce Vita Code.
A gelato, that most simple, small, and affordable item of gastronomic art, is a fundamental part of the dolce vita. Few things, big or little, so easily inject us with happiness and evoke a smile of satisfaction. Have it often, certainly daily, while in Italy.
More from Davide D'Alessandro's The Dolce Vita Code.
Luca D'Alessandro [Photo courtesy Davide D'Alessandro]
Via Veneto, Rome [Photo: Linda Leith]
Why do so many visitors to the mecca of pleasure fail to experience the wonders of the dolce vita? The answer, I submit, lies in psychological research.
The Foreword to Davide D'Alessandro's The Dolce Vita Code.
It’s worth remembering that the word paradise traces its origins to the word pairidaeza, which in the ancient Iranian language Avestan, means a wall constructed to enclose cultivated grounds or a small grove of fruit trees. There is the wall again. As for Eden, that fabulous paradise lost, one need say no more.
Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
Aside from necessary funds, restoring a landscape or great garden requires patience, understanding, knowledge, and a good helping of genius. Gardens, unlike pyramids or palaces, can disappear through neglect, financial collapse, or death of original maker. They are often staked to the fortunes of the families.
Eden Project, Cornwall
A garden requires walls, water, and stone.
Xstrata Treetop Walkway, Kew Gardens
Step Six: Buying a Car and a Home
If you insist on buying a house, then at least be smart enough to wait until at least 7-10 years after your arrival. Do the math. You need to spend the first three years on your education, one year getting out of debt, and three years earning enough to put aside a big down payment.
Maybe I will go easier on my sons the next time they can’t find something — but only if it’s something green.
Living with a superhero makes people careless. Superheroes’ girlfriends tend to have terrible personal safety habits. They always wind up walking down dark, inner city alleys in the middle of the night. Living with The Finder has the same kind of effect on my sons.
Step Five: Ideology
You have to stop making comparisons between this political system and the one you left behind. The one back home may have been funnier to watch, but don’t forget how ineffective it was. So ineffective, in fact, that you decided to leave the country despite the good laugh you had over the political debates. Politics will be less funny in Canada.
Photo: Martine Doyon
John Ruskin attached a tower to his bedroom on his mountainside estate, Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water in Cumbria. Unlike Sackville-West’s, his tower room windowed on all sides, almost a capsule, offered a corner in which to escape from recurring nightmares or to watch the stars.
I think of Virginia Woolf’s essay and cabin, Vita Sackville-West’s tower, and Carlyle’s study, their necessary, self-imposed isolation, and wonder how Jane Austen managed to produce six scintillating novels, at least two of which are masterpieces, in the midst of the busy domesticity of a small house where servants and family bumped against each other crossing a threshold.
Though Carlyle was a literary giant of quasi-mythic proportions and a hero to Victorians, his theories and writing are largely forgotten or ignored outside of university departments of English. That is the fate enjoyed by many a writer, and one need not be dead.
Step Four: Your Children's Education
Are you wondering how it will be possible to pay your child’s private school tuition fees -- about $5,000 a year – when you are still educating yourself and you have no job?
Photo: Martine Doyon
There is a greater need than ever for the good smaller publisher. For those of us interested primarily in quality, in good books that speak to their time and place, the importance of the smaller publisher can hardly be overestimated. It is in the smaller companies that the writer-publisher relationship happens. And this, I would suggest, is where good books come from.