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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Kicking The Corpse, Or Is This Love?

I’m having a hard time writing this. I think I’ve figured out why. I want it to be a eulogy, but I can’t stop kicking the corpse. I want you to care that another American newspaper has expired. But I wonder if I care.

A Banana By Any Other Name

The Case Against Brand-Name Vegetables

Brand-name merchandise is nothing new; in 17th-century England, advertisements for brandname teas offered enjoyment to “all gentlemen.” Not until about 85 years ago, however, did food manufacturers in this country begin to establish and promote brand names.

Remembering The Bicentennial

Hey, weren ’t they the good old days? Remember? Red, white and blue mugs from your gas station, ponderous pronouncements by politicians (“ . . . and in this, our bicentennial year, let us bathe in the waters of continued promise . . . ”) and big TV events of the sort that bring tears to the eyes of devoted Cronkite watchers. Those TV spectacles were great. How about those fireworks? CBS blew up an island in New York harbor for the patriotic entertainment of throbbing millions. Oh yeah. The Bicentennial. I loved it. Always a dull moment. The longest year in our nation’s proud history. At least it seemed that way.


Surely if there is a God in heaven he must tremble each time an Afrikaner passes from this world, rematerializing, whanging away on the Pearly Gates with his knobkerrie, irritated, wondering where the hell the boy carrying his luggage has disappeared to, absolutely vein-throbbing furious at being made to wait for entrance.

Relative Poverty And Frugality

I don’t know much about Paolo Soleri, or his work with what he calls arcologies (from architecture-ecology), except that he is highly respected by people I respect.


S., tired eyes, summing up her life: “I cannot, at this particular time in my life, give up paper towels. I need them.”

Monstrosity And Beauty

Book Review

Like any art form, the short story imposes particular demands. Generally it focuses on a single central character, with a limited supporting cast. Physical descriptions and details of the setting are held to a minimum. Exposition is also limited, and the prolonged digressions of early writers of fiction eliminated. The general rule of the short story, laid out early by Poe, is that no detail is to be included that does not contribute to the central effect. All these demands have had their effect on the development of the modern novel. As early as Hawthorne one can see writers beginning to subject their novels to the rigors of the shorter form. Especially in the twentieth century, many novelists have served their apprenticeships as short story writers, and at their best (as in John Cheever’s Falconer, reviewed in the May issue) have produced lean concentrated works with all the weight of much larger volumes.

Shadow Dancing

Early dawn. She sleeps. I caress her body with my eyes. I slide through her hair, gently kiss her closed eyelids. I taste her in my mouth and smell our sleepy warmth. I am amazed by her beauty, by the strength and kindness that is her face. I also see pettiness and hurt. My heart embraces her. I move closer, she murmurs and pushes against me. I fall asleep.

Temple Sweeper

Warm summer weather and more time outdoors bring with them predictable health problems, mostly minor, but nonetheless annoying. I would like to share some “home remedies” which are based mainly on herbal or holistic approaches.

A Secret Garden

Would you like to know how to cure “wagging teeth,” remove “freckles of the visage” and “botches of the face”? Medieval herbals are full of advice on these and other subjects.

In Joy

Tigger, Pooh’s friend, once spent a day discovering what Tiggers do best. He tried swimming, and decided that wasn’t it. Then he climbed a tree and as soon as he looked down decided that for sure wasn’t it. As I shared this search with Tigger, I found myself asking what is it us humans do best? I suspect it’s trying to be other than what we are.


The Vampire Of Menitz

The people of Menitz could never remember a time when there had not been a vampire. So of course it was hard for them to remember the details of the good old days.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

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