Recent Entries:

  • October 19th, 2015

    In 1923 at the age of 29, Joseph Roth was hired by the Frankfurter Zeitung, the oldest and most widely read liberal daily newspaper in Germany. He soon became the paper’s Paris correspondent, dispatched from there to cover the south of France, Russia, the Balkans, Italy, and Poland.

  • October 16th, 2015

    A person in the habit of watching oneself become oneself – that is, one believed to be a changeling who affirms and is elated by the struggle – has two desires. The first is to get lost, to wander away, unfettered, to draw closer to the provisional. The second is to be found, recognized. They are coincident.

  • October 10th, 2015

    Jay Parini’s biography of Gore Vidal, Empire of Self, is an entertaining narrative, but midway through the book I shifted over to YouTube to watch Vidal in action. He made himself so visible that one can’t help but indulge. I watched the 1995 BBC documentary on Vidal, largely the product of its then seventy-year old subject.

  • October 2nd, 2015

    If there were three more of me, The Seawall would have covered the seven titles mentioned below long before now, each of which was published in 2014 and has been on my to-write-about list for months. Before remorse sets in permanently, I’d like to tell you something about the pleasures of these works by Katie Ford, R. A.

  • September 10th, 2015

    In his essay "The New Writing," the Argentinean novelist César Aira extols prose fiction that puts “processes back on the throne which had been occupied until then by results.” For Aira, professionalization has “congealed” the novel and “shattered the form-content dialectic which makes art ‘artistic.’ ” He asks

  • September 1st, 2015

    Near the end of his life, Robinson Jeffers wrote a short lyric called “On an Anthology of Chinese Poems” in which he extols the virtues of the poets and their verse:

    Beautiful the hanging cliff and the wind-thrown cedars, but they have no weight.
    Beautiful the fantastically
    Small farmhouse and ribbon of rice-fields a mile below; and billows of mist