Tag Archives: American Literature

Pure Wartime

God knows what you all see in America. I see war and devastation. The fucking pilgrims leaving England ’cause there wasn’t enough law and rigidity there, coming here hating all ideas, thought, questioning; the Quakers and the Pilgrims fighting it … Continue reading

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Just One More

One those passages you read (you? I read) and check the front cover in case I finally wrote that book I always intended. If I hadn’t been reading. You find yourself wondering why you’ve never read Frazer’s Golden Bough, even … Continue reading

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Taste Follows the Line of Least Resistance

I don’t recall why I ordered David Carl’s Heraclitus in Sacramento, which particular reference in a footnote or suggestion on Twitter led to its arrival on my shelves a year or so ago. So far, it comprises fragments of thought, … Continue reading

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An Exchange That Need Never End

The essay from which I’ve extracted the passage below is from a collection of six Rebecca Solnit essays. This essay on Virginia Woolf is the last of the collection. Had I not persisted to the end, I’d probably have decided … Continue reading

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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

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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

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Disburdenment Through Reading

This recent piece in the LA Review of Books seized my attention, and as a consequence I’m reading Uses of Literature. It is one of those rare books of literary criticism, if you are fascinated as I am by the … Continue reading

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A Work of Fiction by Louise Gluck

A Work of Fiction As I turned over the last page, after many nights, a wave of sorrow envel- oped me. Where had they all gone, these people who had seemed so real? To distract myself, I walked out into … Continue reading

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Sensorium of the World

A friend sends me an email to ask if I know the poems of American poet Jorie Graham. I am aware of Graham’s work, thanks to an interview with Helen Vendler who talked of a trend in Graham’s work to return … Continue reading

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Old Man, Dead in a Room by Charles Bukowski

Bukowski in correspondence with John William Corrington who published Bukowski as the American representative of a tradition of literary outsiders stretching back to Villon and Rimbaud: ‘Old Man, Dead in a Room is my future, ‘The Tragedy of the Leaves’ … Continue reading

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