Recent Entries:

  • June 21st, 2017

    The making of Claudio Magris’ seventh book, Blameless, was inspired by an obscure figure named Professor Diego de Henriquez, “a brilliant, uncompromising Triestine of vast culture and fierce passion, who dedicated his entire life (1909-1974) to collecting weapons and military materiel of all types to build an original, overflowing War Museum that might, by displaying those instruments

  • June 19th, 2017

    I asked 27 friends (and a daughter) to name the titles of books they plan to read this summer. Scroll down to find lists by Elliot Ackerman, Jack Black, Eduardo Corral, Roz Chast, Rebecca Dinerstein, Rikki Ducornet, Joseph Gonnella, Tyehimba Jess, Nick Kroll, Tess Lewis, Fiona Maazel, Bill Marx, Gail Mazur, Jay Monahan, Laura O’Neill, Peter Orner, D.A.

  • May 31st, 2017

    I got hooked on Jungian psychology and mythopoesis as an undergraduate in the late 1960s, a preference that made me an unresponsive graduate student of structuralism. A concept such as “the eternal return” is invalidated when signs and mythic stories aren’t granted enduring archetypal and transpersonal significance.

  • May 23rd, 2017

    Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son by Paul Dickson (Bloomsbury)
    Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception by Terry McDermott (Pantheon)
    Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character by Marty Appel (Doubleday)

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  • May 12th, 2017

    In “Dream Song 14,” John Berryman not only exposed his boredom but patched in his world’s disapproval of such languishing:

    "Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.   
    After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,   
    we ourselves flash and yearn,
    and moreover my mother told me as a boy   
    (repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored   
    means you have no

  • May 7th, 2017

    The conclusion of Hari Kunzru’s White Tears leaves the reader shaken by the long habits of racism in America and the misappropriation of culture. But the beginning is all about sound. “Every sound wave has a physiological effect, every vibration,” says Seth, the narrator. “I once heard a field recording of a woman singing, sitting on a porch.