Today's edition is for the curious who also happen to enjoy the eclectic. . . and don't mind burning a few hours in the interest of mind-expansion.
✭ The great literary periodical The Missouri Review has launched textBOX, a free online anthology of fiction, essays, and poetry published since the review's founding. Editors plan to add author interviews, audio files, and other materials about the writers who have made the magazine so famous. This is wonderful news!
✭ The Rylands Centre for Heritage Imaging & Collection Care, Manchester, United Kingdom, is digitizing the rarely seen, approximately 500-year-old Qur'an of Kansuh al-Ghuri. This is no easy feat: The delicate document's pages are the size of large plasma television screens. Scroll through the posts about the effort here. Once the project is completed, the online version of the text will be available to scholars worldwide.
University of Manchester Image Collections (These are extraordinary resources.)
✭ The body as subject as explored by women who are artists is the exclusive focus of the blog The Body-Nothing Else. There is some extraordinary work on view here, created with oil paints and acrylics, pastels, charcoal, mixed media, video, photography, texts, body tattoos, pencil, and other media.
The Body-Nothing Else on FaceBook
✭ My friend Deborah Barlow at Slow Muse piqued my interest with her post on the World Question for 2011 presented by The Edge. Naturally, I clicked over. Who can resist spending some time on a site that takes as its mission "[t]o arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves"? Start anywhere, perhaps with the alphabetical listing of contributors working in the sciences, academia, business, and the arts, and then lose yourself in the rich offerings. And don't forget to check out the video section.
The Edge on Twitter
✭ The international organization IMAN — International Muslimah Artists Network — promotes the artistic achievements of established and emerging Muslim women artists. Take a few minutes to browse the members' gallery, where you'll find images of the work of Salma Arastu (see next item), Uzma Mirza, Hayat Gul (calligraphy in glass), and more than two dozen other exceptional artists.
✭ Peggy Rosenthal at Image Journal wrote recently about India-born artist Salma Arastu and her transcendent work. Impelled by Peggy's post to learn more, I visited Arastu's Website and blog. I was struck by the eloquence of and joy in Arastu's paintings, sculptures, and beautiful Arabic calligraphy and especially by her deeply intuitive and spiritual approach to her art, which she discusses in the 24-minute video below. The film takes its name from Arastu's book, The Lyrical Line, a collection of poetry and art, which California-based Half Full Press published in 2008. (The book is available on Amazon.)
Arastu, who lives in California, is enjoying some well-deserved recognition, including the installation last fall of one of her sculptures ("Dancing With the Stars") at San Diego Port and receipt of a proclamation of "Salma Arastu Day" in Berkeley, California, last year.
Arastu founded in 1989 Your True Greetings, which uses the artist's paintings and calligraphy in the design of greeting cards and other products for Muslim communities. YTG has evolved from a small home-based business to a global company that fulfills orders from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Watch The Lyrical Line - Salma Arastu in People & Blogs | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com