For some certain romantic reasons, a segment of the English-language reading population fell in love with Roberto Bolaño in the first few years of this millennium. One invariably glimpsed Bolaño’s award-winning 1998 novel The Savage Detectives on endtables and nightstands after its translation in 2007, with or without bookmarks.[...]
Thomas Hardy—architect, poet, and writer (above)—gave us the fierce, stormy romance Far From the Madding Crowd, currently impressing critics in a film adaptation by Thomas Vinterberg.[...]
Image by Zigurds Zakis
They say that Mussolini’s brand of fascism made Italy’s trains run on time. Meanwhile, it looks like Communists and Post-Communist autocrats made the morning subway ride in Russia something of a cultural experience.
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“There is nothing intrinsically imaginative about the idea of ‘gold,’ nor the idea of ‘mountain,’” writes Will Self, citing an idea of the philosopher David Hume, “but join them together and you have a fantastically gleaming ‘gold mountain.
Briefly noted: Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Everything Is Illuminated) has a new short story, “Love Is Blind and Deaf,” in the Summer Fiction Issue of The New Yorker. And, by short, I mean short. His quirky Adam and Eve story runs 592 words.[...]
There are strong people quietly willing to do “what needs to be done” for the public good, and then there are those who enjoy insinuating that they are that sort of person, usually as justification for their self-serving, frequently racist or xenophobic actions.[...]
This year, readers worldwide celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (Click to see the original manuscript, handwritten & illustrated by Lewis Carroll.[...]
Last Friday, after we marked the passing of Christopher Lee by featuring his reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s 1845 narrative poem “The Raven,” we stumbled, by chance, upon Lee’s reading of another Poe classic–“The Tell-Tale Heart.[...]
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At 24, some five years before publishing his breakout book, Hell’s Angels, and nearly a decade before branding himself a “gonzo journalist,” the young Hunter S. Thompson was an anonymous freelancer looking to make a name for himself. The year was 1962.[...]
Those who know the name Marcel Proust, if not his work itself, know it as that of the most solitary and introspective of writers—a name become an adjective, describing an almost painfully delicate variety of sensory reminiscence verging on tantric solipsism.[...]