Our Samuel Clemens: Mark Twain in the Age of Personal Disclosure Print E-mail

Our Samuel Clemens, by Thomas Larson(Southern Humanities Review Spring 2004) (Revised)

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In November 1903, the fifty-nine-year-old Olivia Clemens, already diagnosed with hyperthyroid heart disease, had been suffering badly from nervous exhaustion and shortness of breath. Her New York doctors recommended that her husband, Samuel, return to Florence, Italy, where the dry air had helped her breathe before. Such might aid her recovery. So Sam and Livy, as she was called, accompanied by their grown daughters, Clara and Jean, a nurse, a maid, and a secretary, sailed for Italy. At a rented villa near Florence, the family bivouacked; they hoped Livy would rally. But the winter proved unseasonably foggy and rainy, and she worsened. The frail woman was in bed day and night, receiving oxygen; she slept sitting up, terrified of choking to death.

A Few Photographs of Molested Children Print E-mail

boyprotect(Eclectica Magazine March/April 2003)

In San Diego where I'm a contributing writer to a weekly feature newspaper, I decide to profile the world of pedophiles and child molesters-those who prey on strangers (the youth group volunteer or coach who puts himself in contact with young boys and girls; the maker and sender of kiddie porn on the Internet) and those who prey on children within families (dads, grandpas, uncles, brothers who to molest children have opportunities that are difficult to detect). To begin, I contact the man responsible for prosecuting child porn manufacturers and distributors in San Diego, deputy district attorney Jeff Dort. We meet in his office on the twelfth floor of the Hall of Justice, a cubicle crammed with computers, stockpiled videotapes, pamphlets, files, and shelves of binders in which he is accumulating evidence for several cases.

Troubling Beauty: The Paintings of William Glen Crooks Print E-mail

Crooks_Over_Otay(Southwest Art July 2000)

Many viewers regard William Glen Crooks’ crystalline landscapes of Southern California and neighborhood portraits of San Diego as nostalgic. The artist, however, disagrees. He sees his spare paintings, which feature the region’s glaring and diffused light, not as nostalgic but tragic. Crooks tries to paint what is essential for him about human life: the lingering of “loss and regret.” Whether collectors are aware of these emotions or not, they seem to be as moved by them as the artist is. His spring show at SOMA Gallery in La Jolla, California, featured some twenty-five paintings and nearly sold out.

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