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Thank you!

My sincere thanks to all who have purchased “Just Desserts” this month. The first edition of 100 copies is nearly gone (a few remain; see purchasing instructions below). The promised volume II, to be titled “THOU ART THAT, Love and Life Lines by Slade,” is in production and will be available soon. The title and the title poem need a brief explanation.

tat tvam asi             From the sanskrit, this Vedic proposition translates normally as THOU ART THAT.   THOU (the spiritual you, the SUBJECTive center of all your conscious observations) and THAT (the world or the OBJECT of all your observations) are not two things...they are one and the same. The SUBJECT (you) and the OBJECT (the world as you perceive it) are an identity. SUBJECTIVITY and OBJECTIVITY are indistinguishable.  This, of course, is opposed to most western, scientific objectivity dependent on our ability to make true, accurate observations of the non-self world of objects.

Thou Art That

The tulip’s the bee that his colors blaze out for;
The bee is the honey he flies to the hive;
The honey’s the sweetness that seeps in its matrix;
The sweetness is sunlight that keeps all alive;
Sunlight is life of which poets sing
As they empty themselves of themselves
To be filled with the tulip, the honey... the thing
And try to make sense of their lives.
Tulip qua tulip is empty of being,
Empty of meaning and emptiness too,
But tulip-and-bee is the anima mundi,
And honey-and-sweetness-and-sunlight... and-you.

Western science encountered this dilemma when it came to observing sub-atomic particles like electrons. The very act of observing such particles changed their characteristics, making it uncertain how or what they were in their natural, unobserved state.

EAST AND WEST

Western science, in love with stuff,
Of conscious thought was skeptical,
A mere subset of protein
And discharges synaptical.

The mystic East, reversing this
For centuries has taught
That stuff’s not even stuff until
It’s called to being by thought.

Time out of mind there seemed no way
To reconcile the two
Until those crafty scientists put
Electrons in review.

This tiniest of Nature’s stuff,
They found to their surprise,
Had no defined existence
When not before their eyes.

And when they thought of it as stuff,
Or thought of it as wave,
Or didn’t think of it at all,
Just so!...it would behave.

All this, of course, has killed any interest you might have had in Volume II. Be assured these are the only lines on this arcane topic.  Love and Life are the main concern of these pages.  And best of all, Ruby Lindner’s art enlivens it all again!

Expect a picture of her cover design this month.



OK, so Scribbler laid down his poetry pen last month, but here’s the August good news. His friends and loved ones (mostly himself) have put together a collection of his best humor, compiled over 30 years of scribbling, for your delectation and amusement. The compilation, titled “JUST DESSERTS, Lite Verse by Slade,” is 70 pages of Scribbler’s best laughs. What are six good reasons you need this book?

First, in the age of free verse, Slade is one of the last to write with rhyme and meter. And rhyme and meter are 50% of drollery’s magic, for as Joseph Addison points out, “What is too ridiculous to be said, CAN be sung.”

Second, the cover art for this volume is by the divine Ruby Lindner, Washington state’s great abstract painter (and SSM grad, '80). Think of the colors above decorating your coffee table! And think of the perfect gift for all your friends and family, art and verse at once. You’ll need 6 or 8 probably.

Third, this is a very limited edition. It will NOT be available in libraries, stores, or via Amazon. The only buyers will be Scribbler’s former students, his FaceBook friends, his Sladebooks.com readers, and his family (notoriously disinterested in poetry). By limited edition, we mean 100 total copies, so if you want a valuable first edition, YOU BETTER HURRY!

Fourth, only if this edition sells out, will there possibly appear Volume II of Slade’s work to be called (tentatively) “THOU ART THAT, Love and Life Lines by Slade.” This will be his better serious verse, but will never be seen if the Lite Verse fails.

Fifth, the cost to you, which includes mailing, handling, and tax, is a nominal $18.00. Too much? Be comforted that the costs of production and mailing will leave Slade nicely in the red.

Sixth... and here’s the best part... no fumbling with checks, stamps, and envelopes for you. Slade has a PayPal account, and you don’t need one to use his. Simply grab your credit card, click on the PayPal code below, fill in the order info, and presto: the books arrive in the mail. PayPal code: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=CW5JJHYUQA3LG

Of course, if you love fumbling with checks, stamps and envelopes, send them to him at: 1149 Pleasant Circle, St. Paul MN 55112. If you just want to tell him goodbye and good riddance, email him at: sladesch@comcast.net

Oh, and seventh... if you don’t order at least one, Slade’s heart will be broken... and he knows who you are!


Just Desserts

Plum pudding, bread pudding, creme brulee,
Cobblers, sundaes, strawberry parfait!
Fudge brownies, carrot cake, tiramisu,
Streusel, strudel, baked Alaska too!
Gelato, ice cream cones, double dips,
Oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips!
Can we take ‘em with us when we die?
Key lime, pumpkin, and pecan pie?
If it’s truly Heaven, there should be treats.
What kind of paradise has no sweets?
I know it’s the end of a fabulous feast,
But there oughta be something for “afters” at least.
Though my sins be scarlet as red velvet cake,
Aren’t I forgiven for goodness sake?
Would it be such a hoo-ha or big kerfuffle
If I smuggled in a chocolate truffle?
I haven’t earned ‘em. I’ll miss ‘em. IT HURTS!
But my enemies tell me it’s just desserts.


 


 

To Order

"Teeny and the Whale" Acclaimed

"The Teeny stories are remarkable tales, both funny and intellectual. Slade is a very understanding man and captures the reader with humor and art. I give it ten stars."
Maggie Osterbauer, '03

"Schuster's work is amazing! He is wise beyond his years, and that's high praise."
Eric Vidrine, '03

"Teeny and the Whale" is a masterpiece plumbing the ocean-depths of the human psyche."
James Byron, '03

"Mr. Schuster's droll wit and Mike Sooy's artistry make for a raucous romp through adolescence and the unconscious."
Ars Azam, '03

"Slade's combination of wry humor and sound moral instruction make his volume worth twice what I paid for it!"
Brian Libby, History Dept.




To Order

Critical Reviews of Teeny's Travels

"This fantastical world of Zander-snitches, horrid harpies, and blimple stones will be a source of pride to heroic teenagers everywhere . . . as long as they have a dead ear for irony."
Sonja Johnson '88

"Oh, the droll, drooling days of adolescence! What exactly are these minds we are concerned to mold? Slade lays it all before us. Here you have it, Dude!"
Molly Gilbert, Admissions

"A terrific poem describing a typical, modern teenager (I think it's Brett Wallnutt) on the symbolic journey of life, the same journey we have read this year in ancient tales."
Samira Abu-Ghazaleh '01

"Teeny's Travel's" is an exhilarating, verse tale delving into the adventures of an average, nutty teenager, probably Brett Wallnutt."
Chad Mayfield '01

"This is one of the greatest works of our times. Teeny is a complex, intricate, fascinating hero . . . as am I."
Brett Wallnutt '01


To Order

Readers Rave for "Teeny!"

Teeny is an hilarious character, portrayed perfectly to relate to young adults. Well worth reading! Very clever! Very funny!
- Ruthie Sudderth, '02

Finally, a story that lays open the truth about adolescence: materialism, power, and sloth. Things come to closure, Chaucer. The curtain is closing, Shakespeare. Move over, Freud. Slade is here!
- Lars Jensen, '02

This is why Schuster's Teeny Series is so critically acclaimed.
- Stephen Van Pelt, '02

A comical tale of teenhood and the complete idiot's guide to Christian selflessness.
- Erik Thunem, '02

An exemplary tale that warns teens of the "hockey" generation to be cautious when touching "pastry." It will grate the nerves of the boorish adolescent, but touch the heart strings of "special" students who interest themselves in literature.
- Mary Stenson, '02

The Legends

Teeny's Travels reprises the "wasteland theme" which informs so many ancient, medieval, and modern tales, including Oedipus and Hamlet. In this story line, a youthful hero on a spiritual quest enters a strange land wasted by a plague afflicting vegetal, animal, and human vitality. The hero visits the castle of the doomed country where he finds an ailing king. The king's infirmity is the source of the plague (king and country being magically one vitality), and it is the hero's task to restore the king's vigor by curing or replacing the ailing king. The king, though infirm, is wise and can grant the hero a vision of the spiritual truth if he judges the young man's heart to be pure. In medieval versions, the vision often involves the mystic grail or sword (inverted cross) of Christian import. At the moment of revelation, the hero must make a correct response, often by asking the right question. Quests imply a climactic question. The hero fails to cure the wasteland as often as he succeeds, but the moral lesson is imparted as forcefully in either case. "By men who won't be taught by other men, shall other men be taught."

Teeny and the Green Knight satirizes a long, 14th-century poem, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," written in Middle English by an unknown author, a contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer. In it an untested, young hero is confronted by a giant, green horse and rider. The menacing figure challenges Gawain to cut off the green man's head with an axe. However, Gawain must first agree to visit the green giant's domain within a year and have his own head hewn off. Fair is fair. Gawain accepts, seizes the ax, and chops off the man's head. The adventure that follows is marvelous, ominous, full of Christian lore, but not without its humorous implications. Gawain's honor, bravery, and chastity are sorely tested by several trials, most but not all of which he passes. Narrowly escaping death, Gawain returns home, as spiritual heroes must, with a boon, prize, elixir, symbol, or code to enrich his society. Gawain's prize is a simple, green garter, the meaning of which, were it imparted, would benefit young men in any society, especially our own. The Gawain story is the source of a knightly order still revered in England and awarded by her monarchs, the order of the garter.

Teeny and the Whale, like most whale, great fish, or monster-of-the-deep stories (Jonah, Leviathan, Pinocchio, Moby Dick), has a symbolic interpretation. Read psychologically, water (the deep) represents the unconscious, dark regions of the hero's psyche, from which the monster rises to menace him. The monster, of course, is the unmastered excess of the hero's own ego (hubris). Male hubris is the tragic flaw that again and again these tales are concerned to render. As long as the hero remains unaware of the danger his own desires pose (as human desires have no bounds), he will be dragged under and devoured. When he masters fully his own nature, he will rise up and walk upon the flood unhindered. As Thomas a Kempis says, "Know that the love of thyself doth hurt thee more than anything in the world. Forsake and resign thyself, and thou shalt enjoy much inward peace." Teeny is a failed hero in all three adventures.



To Order

Alumni Review

"Straight River Anthology is an insight into the heart and mind of the great Slade. We all wondered what was going on in his head during high school. This is your chance to find out."
Sara Huntley, class of '94

"Slade captures the sublime in everyday occurrences. I enjoy his poetry immensely."
Bob Irby, class of '60

"Slade's poetry isn't Classical...or Romantic...or even Modern (thank God), but it often makes me laugh, sometimes cry (a bitter tear...no loud boo-hooing) and mostly reminds me that the Grim Reaper lurks behind every tree like a boogie-man in the park. Jus'skidding! You must have this book!"
Sonja Johnson, class of '88

"I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of poems, a glimpse at the quirky yet intriguing Mr. Schuster. My favorite,"Violins," perfectly shares the unique and amazing experiences this school offers; the emotion this poem conveys is truly touching."
Katie Simonson, class of '01

"I don't read poetry, and if Slade's mortgage is indeed twice his monthly pay, you'd be a fool to feed that monkey. Nevertheless, I bought some copies of his book. One levels the game table in my basement; the other is shimming the bar fridge."
Tim Gillin, class of '68



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Rare!
Samuel Johnson Collection

For Sale (16 volumes total): $19,900.00


A Dictionary of the English Language
by Samuel Johnson
London
printed by W. Strahan
MDCCLV (1755)

FIRST EDITION, with contemporary boards (1755), restored spines and a double signature at 19K, considered the most pristine copy one book dealer had seen in his career of selling Johnsonalia.


Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the
WORKS OF THE ENGLISH POETS
by Samuel Johnson
London
Printed by J. Nichols (in ten volumes)
MDCCLXXIX (1779)


The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
by James Boswell, Esq.
The third edition, Revised and Augmented,
in Four Volumes
London
Printed by H. Baldwin and Son
MDCCXCIX (1799)