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A whale of a tale
Hans Weyandt, co-owner of Micawber’s Bookstore in St. Paul, got things rolling Tuesday night when he introduced Ethan Rutherford, Minneapolis author of the new short-story collection “The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories.” “ ‘Peripatetic’ is a word that is not used by anyone anywhere in the United States today,” Weyandt said. Rutherford is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s MFA program in creative writing. (He also reviews books for the Star Tribune.) His collection contains three sea stories, including the title story (the well-traveled coffin is a submarine), and he told the audience that it had long been his wish “to write ‘Moby Dick II.’ It turns out that’s not a story that anybody was waiting for.”
Ode to bronze
A literary giant in life, German poet and philosopher Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) stands as a bronze giant near the entrance to St. Paul’s Como Park. Commissioned by a group of prominent German-Americans as a gift to the city of St. Paul, the sculpture immediately became a celebrated landmark at its dedication in 1907. Recently restored, the sculpture will be rededicated at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Minnesota Chorale will perform “Ode to Joy,” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the lyrics of which come from Schiller’s 1785 poem “Ode an die Freude” (Ode to Joy). After a century in Minnesota’s harsh weather, the sculpture was streaked with “green and blue copper carbonate corrosion and black, crusty sulfur-based deposits,” said Public Art St. Paul, a nonprofit organization that oversaw the sculpture’s restoration in 2012. Not to mention the graffiti.
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