Crank's was a restaurant in Copenhagen in the 1980s, which catered to a clientele seeking a different sort of meal, amiable contact, and infusions of unnamed herbs. Those entering the door under the "Crank's" sign received a dynamic that offered but did not impose eccentricity. The pieces in Crank were written over a 30-year period, and call on the experiences of 40. The "fiction" and "non-fiction" in its mix retain no more purity than they do, say, in Mann or Conrad or the U.S. News. Crank takes up the case of those who violated the trust of the Generation of 1968, and offers gratitude for the ones who lived and thought otherwise, the eccentrics and unwitting monks who could assist society by differing from it. The society needed the latter, and does still. The fools who would have destroyed us never managed to do so. Chronicling the 1970s, 80s, 90s.the narrative follows the wear and tear of travel, the classroom, the concert hall, the embassy, and a dusty neighborhood in Brazzaville, Congo. "Reality" is story. It all happened but the story and its telling were what mattered. The point was not to photograph the incidents, but carry them into the heart where they could be preserved, and address the randomness of strong sensations. The settings - Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Conakry, Brookline, Port-au-Prince among others - gave the props, not the essence of the experiences. Like strophic patterns of the French chanson, they stood the logic upright and sustained the narrative, never diving for the observer's heart but gaining it by inadvertence. The foreign postings brought wonderment, fresh news, conspiracy, javelins into the unsuspecting heart, then succeeded one another like lovers decamping before dawn. Daniel Whitman holds a PhD in French, from Brown University. He taught at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts, and was a Fulbright lecturer at Marien Ngouabi University in Brazzaville. With the State Department he has worked with media and cultural exchange, and lived in Denmark, Spain, South Africa, Haiti, and Cameroon. In Washington he has served in the African and European Bureaus, and with the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. In 2005 he assisted in the creation of the Society for the Development of Media in Africa, in Douala, Cameroon. His forty articles range in topic from current affairs, African Studies, travel profiles of Europe, and cultural leaders on three continents. They have appeared in Musicus, Parabola, The New York Times, The Foreign Service Journal, Ba Shiru, The Strad, and Research in African Literatures, among other publications. His books are Kaidara, a presentation and study of a 1000-year-old African folk epic; Madrid Inside Out, a guide to residence for foreigners in Spain; One Step Up, a manual for buyers of stringed instruments; and A Haiti Chronicle, the Undoing of a Latent Democracy 1999-2001. Whitman plays viola in amateur music groups in Washington, DC.
Number Of Pages: 204
Published: 23rd August 2006
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.46