By Deb A.
Thirty years ago, the pelican became extinct. Hardly a peep was heard from the Audubon.
This May, in what is more a miracle of modern readership than Jurassic Park-style DNA revival, it will soar the proverbial skies once more.
Begotten of penguins –more specifically, Penguin Books – the Pelican imprint, like its parent, helped make good literature that was previously the preserve of the upper classes available to the mass market. Pelican Books was hatched in 1937, just two years after Penguin had been founded to offer titles such as A Farewell To Arms and The Great Gatsby at irresistibly reasonable prices.
Its goal was to leave the entertainment to Penguin and instead focus on educating readers on contemporary issues. The distinct Penguin colour block style in Pelican-only light blue and white flew (apologies) off the shelves starting with the very first title, The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism by George Bernard Shaw. Sigmund Freud's Psychopathology of Everyday Life sold out completely within a week in 1938. The trend continued for nearly a half-century, but Pelican books eventually fell out of fashion and, subsequently, out of existence.
Pelican books – whether sticking haphazardly out of a back pocket or casually lining a living room wall – were a signifier of (real or projected) intelligence and a willingness to engage with new ideas, much as, decades later, the first white earbuds indicated a passion for music and technology (and a sizable disposable income). As the pelican mimics the phoenix and rises from the ashes of its predecessor, it will be interesting to see whether it will once again become an icon in homes, residence rooms and back pockets around the world.
The first title of the new Pelican series, an original work called Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang, will be released next month. Five books are set to be published each year.
By Deb A.
It is rare for an author to win both critical acclaim and the love–fleeting or otherwise– of an international audience. As a pioneer of magical realism and an enchanting storyteller whose works came to define a continent, Gabriel García Márquez was able to reach even deeper: as news spread of his death, individuals around the world gathered to mourn the man whose books changed their lives.
What could follow now is a long list of public figures and their social media tributes, a touching collection of the proclamations made by regular lovers of literature, or a standard synopsis of Mr. García Márquez's life... but there can be no words more moving than those of the man himself. This, after all, is a man who brought magic to reality, and helped us all believe.
On behalf of Agave Magazine: Thank-you, Gabriel García Márquez.
She had just begun when Amaranta noticed that Remedios the Beauty was covered all over by an intense paleness.
"Don't you feel well?" she asked her.
Remedios the Beauty, who was clutching the sheet by the other end, gave a pitying smile.
"Quite the opposite," she said, "I never felt better."
She had just finished saying it when Fernanda felt a delicate wind of light pull the sheets out of her hands and open them up wide. Amaranta felt a mysterious trembling in the lace on her petticoats and she tried to grasp the sheet so that she would not fall down at the instant in which Remedios the Beauty began to rise. Úrsula, almost blind at the time, was the only person who was sufficiently calm to identify the nature of that determined wind and she left the sheets to the mercy of the light as she watched Remedios the Beauty waving good-bye in the midst of the flapping sheets that rose up with her, abandoning with her the environment of beetles and dahlias and passing through the air with her as four o'clock in the afternoon came to an end, and they were lost forever with her in the upper atmosphere where not even the highest-flying birds of memory could reach her.
From One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez (1926-2014).
By Deb A.
"To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write."
Most people who have found themselves slowly growing desperate as the cursor gently flashes on an empty white screen, or crumpling yet another sheet of paper, blank but for a scrawl of doodles in a corner, are familiar with the phenomenon of writer's block. Throughout the years, professional writers have been asked about how they deal with the sensation of having nothing to say. Some give advice, some share their personal experiences, some offer only contempt. Whose side are you on?
By Deb A.
“There's an elegiac quality in watching [American wilderness] go, because it's our own myth, the American frontier,
It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
Award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. Environmentalist. World traveler. Political activist. Zen Buddhist. Spy. Very few individuals can lay claim to even half of these titles; Peter Matthiessen held them all.
The author of over 30 books, including "The Snow Leopard" and "At Play in the Fields of the Lord", died yesterday of leukemia at the age of 86. His literary legacy is a winding one that includes The Paris Review – he co-founded the legendary literature review as a cover during his brief stint with the CIA – and National Book Awards in both fiction (for "Shadow Country") and nonfiction ("The Snow Leopard").
Fiction remained Matthiessen's true love, yet, despite his rejection of the title of 'nature writer', he was just as widely celebrated for his lyrical nonfiction, which was firmly anchored in the theme of nature and the havoc wreaked upon it by human beings.
Peter Matthiessen's final novel, "In Paradise", will be published April 8th.
“The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not.
By Deb A.
It's here! We are proud to premiere "chatroom by the light of the real moon" by Agave Magazine contributor Tim Jurney. Enjoy!
chatroom by the light of the real moon
said the cemetery which is where i was
which is not facebook but i treat it like the internet anyway
talk about myself to an audience of slackjaws
which is also where i heard this voice that was like
and i was like hi, who is it,
and it was like hey so try again,
and it was you
but also the graveyard which is like language, really
words but also –
and so i was like nope, thanks, we tried,
and it was like k but you buried that body a while ago,
here is the body come look, come see your fingers,
how they sink into the loam,
and i was like
because the space bar gives you time to pause
if you keep hitting it then something is happening
you can’t see it but like breaths are taken
and i was like
ok, my lungs do quicken at the sight of thee,
is that Bardlike, do you want Bardlike,
let’s be real i was crushing hard again
crushing out again in again,
babbling on again,
dead people dancing around again,
or was that the movie
in my brain again,
i said to the cemetery which is where i was,
put it on facebook and tag yourself too because then you might see that
while you were dreaming you were also there talking,
through unlit screens of stone gravemarkers,
i said to the cemetery which was you,
i think we should try again, and you were like
stillness, because you were mostly just sleeping
in a bed far away and you were mostly unconscious,
and only your lungs were speaking and they were like
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