Maybe you've winced at the decline of the past participle. Or folks writing and saying "he had sank" and "she would have went." Perhaps it was the singer Gotye going on about "Somebody That I Used to Know" instead of "Somebody Whom I Used to Know." Or any of a number of other tramplings of traditional grammar — rules that have been force-fed to American schoolchildren for decades — in popular parlance and prose.
In the 1970s, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas, where he created giant works of art that bask beneath vast desert skies. In the years since, Marfa has emerged as a hot spot for art tourism.
Credit Art (c) Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
This summer, NPR's <em>Destination Art</em> series is going off the beaten path to visit small to midsize North American cities that have cultivated lively arts scenes. And we want to hear from you! Where's your favorite art hot spot? What makes it unique? <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=156306412"><strong>Tell us about it.</strong></a>
Credit Brian Santa Maria / iStockphoto.com
<em>Prada, Marfa</em> is a faux boutique displaying luxury bags and shoes in the middle of the sparse Texas landscape. It was created in 2005 by artist duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset.
Credit Matt Slocum / AP
Though the locals have mixed feelings about being an art mecca, Kaki Aufdengarten-Scott, Marfa's one-woman chamber of commerce, says without art tourism, "this town would have dried up and blown away."
Credit Citoyen du Monde Inc / Flickr
The Marfa Book Co. is run by poet Tim Johnson, who doesn't think Judd would approve of Marfa's emergence as a chic art world destination.
Credit ydhsu / Flickr
"You just come out here and you feel like, I want to make something; I want to do something!" explains sculptor Campbell Bosworth. Above, a creative car, spotted on the street in Marfa.
This tiny town perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert is nothing less than an arts world station of the cross, like Art Basel in Miami, or Documenta in Germany. It's a blue-chip arts destination for the sort of glamorous scenesters who visit Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum and the drugs.
"They speak about Marfa with the same kind of reverent tones generally reserved for the pilgrimage of the Virgin of Lourdes," notes Carolina Miranda, a writer who covers the art world.
Chris Bram is the author of the novel Gods and Monsters.
Gore Vidal was famous for his hates: academia, presidents, whole portions of the American public and, most notably, Truman Capote. Yet he could be incredibly generous to other writer friends. He wrote beautiful, appreciative essays about Tennessee Williams and Dawn Powell.
He was a man of many facets and endless contradictions.
Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 3:29 pm
Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 11:56 am
As I recently dipped a carrot slice into a fluffy, edamame-infused dip I'd made from a batch of homemade tofu, I wondered: Why haven't I done this before? The carrot was crisp, the herbs were fresh, but it was the tofu that was the real deal. It was like no store-bought tofu I'd ever encountered – light, delicate, creamy and not a bit rubbery.
Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:14 pm
With his 2009 The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?, Padgett Powell produced one of the most readable literary oddities of the past decade. In that book, a narrator — perhaps the author himself — fired off questions (and only questions) that come to read less like a novel than a personality test gone haywire: "Should a tree be pruned? Are you perplexed by what to do with underwear whose elastic is spent but which is otherwise in good shape? Do you dance?" And so on, for more than 150 pages.