- August 24th, 2015
In 1930, while waiting in the cold outside a Leningrad prison where her son had been jailed, Anna Akhmatova met a woman, also with an imprisoned son, who asked her, “Can you write about this?” According to Giorgio Agamben, who relates this story in On Potentiality, Akhmatova instantly committed herself to writing — but not because she had a proven ability to create poems about horr
- August 18th, 2015on Robinson Jeffers: Poet and Prophet by James Karman (Stanford) & The Wild That Attracts Us, ed. ShaunAnne Tangney (New Mexico)
“Why does so much deep silence surround the name of Robinson Jeffers?” asked Horace Gregory in his 1953 review of Hungerfield, Jeffers’ sixteenth collection of poems. But Gregory knew the answer.
- August 5th, 2015
At Cambridge University in 1965, James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr.
- July 13th, 2015
The multi-voiced narrative is a near-obligatory routine for many mainstream novelists. It satisfies benign inclinations – first, to display one’s ample virtuosity, and then, to flatter the reader’s presumed perspicacity. Any single fictional character may see only a part of a situation but the reader is persuaded that he/she can see it all.
- June 8th, 2015on The Travels of Daniel Ascher, a novel by Déborah Lévy-Bertherat, trans. by Adriana Hunter (Other Press)
In March 1942, German SS officers and their French hosts began deporting Jews from the Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris to their deaths in Eastern Europe. Before being led onto convoys by French gendarmes, Jews were held in a crumbling housing project at Drancy, a northern suburb.
- May 28th, 2015on Paper Collage by Georges Perros, translated by John Taylor (Seagull Books/University of Chicago Press)
“I write. It’s not my trade. No trade resembles man. It’s what I can do,” writes Georges Perros in the third and final edition of Papiers collés (Paper Collage), the aphoristic literary and philosophical jottings for which he is best known. He continues: “I know that if I’m not writing, something is not quite right and announces a catastrophe.