Monthly Archives: February 2012

In a Different Voice, Chapter 1: Some Notes

I’ve just completed the first chapter of Carol Gilligan’s In a Different Voice. I’m undecided whether I’ll write about the book, but wanted to capture a few notes: In the 1920’s, Freud struggled to resolve the contradictions posed for his … Continue reading

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Roger Deakin Archive

Each of Roger Deakin’s three books, Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain, Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees and Notes From Walnut Tree Farm are stunning, the apotheosis of natural history writing. The picture above is of Deakin’s notebooks, archived at UEA. … Continue reading

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The Mild Boredom of Order

Gradually, my book shelves empty, as the contents are packed into an unthinkable number of boxes, ready for moving to the new house in a fortnight. Lamentably, the elderly couple who have bought my house plan to tear out the book … Continue reading

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My Late Discovery of Hitchens’ Essays

It was only after his death that I begun to read Christopher Hitchens. Unconsciously I had ignored his work, associating him with the fraternity of English bloviators that were his friends: Ian McEwan, Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie. I’m reading … Continue reading

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Saul Bellow’s Hunger for the Universal

At Bellow’s memorial meeting, held in the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at Lexington Avenue and 92nd Street, two years ago, the main speakers were Ian McEwan, Jeffrey Eugenides, Martin Amis, William Kennedy, and James Wood. Had it not been for … Continue reading

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The Snares of Consciousness

I’ve taken to skimming Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality. Though I agree fully with the book’s premise, and particularly like the bracing concept of nice nihilism, the writing style is supercilious and wearing. I have however made many … Continue reading

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Dusklands by J. M. Coetzee

It is by lowering or changing the status of the Other that we unleash the possibility of inhumanity. Acts considered inhuman if applied to family or friends become permissible, in certain circumstances, if we label the Other as enemy, animal … Continue reading

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Anselm Kiefer White Cube Exhibition

I might have been born into a very literal sense of chaos, but in fact that state is true of all of us. To the White Cube today for the Anselm Kiefer: Il Mistero delle Cattedrali exhibition, which does not … Continue reading

Posted in Visual Arts | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Crisis of Literature

Hardly a year goes by without a novelist, poet, or critic coming forward to express this sense of sourness, which is actually a compound of despair and resentment. Despair, because every department of literature seems to undergoing crisis, a multiple … Continue reading

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Zona by Geoff Dyer

Without reservation, I am a deep-seated admirer of Geoff Dyer’s work. Since reading his D. H. Lawrence book I have continued through each of his titles. Last year I went to a talk that Dyer gave on Camus, (available here, but … Continue reading

Posted in Film | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments