Tag Archives: 21st Century

The Electrician

He travelled the paths of the papa by bicycle, with a ladder on his back. Bautista Riolfo was an electrician and a handyman, a Mister Fix-It who repaired tractors, watches, grinding mills, radios, rifles. The hump on his back came … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Voyage

Finding wonder in the work of a writer I’ve not read before is not dissimilar to the early days of a romance. Those early weeks and months of enchantment are enlivening, energizing, as I go through the joyful immersion in their … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Literature in Translation, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Eduardo Galeano’s Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone

Whereas in Borges’s The Book of Sand, the characters are terrified by the infinite book, in the case of Eduardo Galeano’s Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone, I wished never to finish this book for, in a sense, like the sand, … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Literature in Translation | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Origins of Modern Art

West African sculptors have always sung while they worked. And they do not stop singing until their sculptures are finished. That way the music gets inside the carvings and keeps on singing.     In 1910, Leo Frobenius found ancient … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Literature in Translation, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Marketing

  At the end on the 1920’s, advertising beat the drum to spread marvellous news: “Fly, don’t ride.” Leaded gasoline made you go faster, and going faster meant getting ahead in life. The ads showed a car going at a … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Literature in Translation, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Euroeverything

On his deathbed, Copernicus published the book that founded modern astronomy.    Three centuries before, Arab scientists Mu’ayyad al-Din al-‘Urdi and Nasir al-Din Tusi had come up with the theorems crucial to that development. Copernicus used their theorems but did … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Literature in Translation, Politics | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Art and Entertainment

Yet in many cultural loci these days we are asked to read and write easier, more naively, less rigorously. We are asked to understand by not taking the time and energy to understand. One difference between art and entertainment has … Continue reading

Posted in Literary Criticism | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Literary Couplings

The sun is calm and bright, but it isn’t yet quite warm enough to idle outside with Denton Welch’s I Left My Grandfather’s House. So observant Welch’s eye for details of character and architecture, his voice so tender after the cool … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography, Fiction, Literature in Translation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Futuristic Howling

If the halls of the Hermitage would suddenly go mad, if the paintings of all schools and masters should suddenly break loose from the nails, should fuse, intermingle, and fill the air of the rooms with futuristic howling and colours … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disturbing Fiction

It must have been at thirteen, fourteen at most that I found a piece of fiction both repugnant and riveting in equal measure. I remember the fiction. It was Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Perhaps I was too young to read Kafka, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literary Criticism, Literature in Translation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments