Thursday, December 13, 2007

Madonna of the Toast: One of 2007's Best Underground Books!

The past year has been a great one, and a big part of that is due to all the fun I’ve had with Madonna of the Toast. I’ve read all over the country, been interviewed by newspapers and radio-show hosts, met all sorts of interesting folks and, of course, maintained this blog with a degree of regularity that I had never intended. But, as is evident in the myriad visual manifestations of religious and secular icons posted here, the stories are endless – inspired by myth, marketing, the media and the malleable and evolving physical world we inhabit. From the deeply devout to the caustically skeptical, these stories resonate with pretty much everyone because they are, at their cores, reflections of this shared world and how we interpret and weather it. Through both the book and blog, I have been able to discuss Plato’s myth of the cave, pareidolia, the war in Iraq, Marshall McLuhan, the US Constitution, reality television, Johnny Carson and cell-phone cameras, as they all relate, one way or another, to these phenomena.

In an article in this week’s The New Statesman, writer Sukhdev Sandhu equates the contents of Madonna of the Toast to “unusual or elusive texts.” I really like this description. No, I love it; it is spot on. Even more interesting, and exciting, is the fact that he writes about this in an article called “Notes from the underground: Madonna of the Toast and poems from Guantanamo” a piece, I am deeply honored to write, that comprises a short list of 2007’s best underground books. Pretty incredible.

Thanks go out to all of the people who have bought a book, visited this blog or told a friend about the project. While I will be keeping up with these stories (I think I’ve developed an addiction), I am going to take a blog break between now and the New Year. I wish you all the best in what remains of 2007 and hope that 2008 begins the way you want. I have a feeling that next year will be another busy one for me . . .

But we're not quite there yet, so relax and enjoy this famous bit of television history: Myrtle Young, potato chips and Johnny Carson.

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