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  Frédérique Morrel The French artist Frédérique Morrel was horrified to discover that when her grandmother died, all of her handicrafts were thrown away. Since then, she has been pursuing the idea of bringing her grandmother’s works back to life in order to revive the passion that was inherent in them. In the process, she has developed a completely new artistic concept that “ decycles ” unnoticed and unvalued pop artifacts, thus helping them make the transition to a new life cycle.  ** Thankfully, no animals were harmed in the making of  Frédérique Morrel’s art.  The horns and fur are real; the rest is a mix of taxidermy molds and vintage needlework.  While amusing and perhaps a bit shocking, the trophies that adorn the Seventh Floor are “tame” compared to some of Frédérique’s other work which include life size horses, deer, wild boar and even humans (which they call “ ghosts ”.)  If the artists’ goal is to “re-enchant” our world, then

eat and write or die


The Search for the Genuine: Selected Nonfiction, 1970-2015

Image courtesy of the Harrison family.

To answer this question has put me into a sump, a well-pit, a quandary I haven’t visited in years. Here are a number of answers. My love of life is tentative so I write to ensure my survival. I try to write well so I won’t be caught shitting out of my mouth like a politician. To the old banality “Eat or die,” I add “Eat and write or die.” After writing I often read Brillat-Savarin, also cookbooks, on the toilet. Then I try to cook as well as I hope I write. After a nap, I write again, in the manner of an earthdiver swimming in the soil to understand the roots and tendrils of trees. I anchor myself to these circular life processes so as not to piss away my life on nonsense. I hunt and fish because it helps my writing. Novels and poems are the creeks and rivers coming out of my brain. I continue writing in bleak times to support my wife and daughters, my dogs and cats, to buy wine, whiskey, food. I write as an act of worship to creatures, landscapes, ideas that I admire, to commemorate the dead, to create new women to love. Just now while listening to the blizzard outside I poured a huge glass of Bordeaux. This is what I call fun! Rimbaud said, “Everything we are taught is false.” I believed him when I was eighteen and still do. Writers are mere goats who must see the world we live in but have never discovered. I write to continue becoming an unmapped river. It suits me like my skin.




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