Recent Entries:

  • September 18th, 2014

    In an essay about the avant-garde impulse in fiction, the Argentine novelist Cesar Aira suggests that the mainstream novel has become congealed “in a state of perfection that cannot exceed its premises … To take even a single step further requires colossal effort and the sacrifice of an entire life.” Uncongealing, a young writer’s aberrant fiction often gets tagged as “experimental.”

  • August 13th, 2014

    “For me, the good photographer is not the guy who goes on the street for ten minutes and takes this fantastic picture,” Josef Koudelka told James Estrin of The New York Times in 2013. “The good photographer must create the conditions so that he can be good.” Creating conditions, Koudelka’s way of living as much as of making pictures, has been his lifelong habit.

  • August 3rd, 2014

    Narratives of unrequited love, that staple of story and song, sometimes end in tragedy but always entail hurt. Emma Bovary swallows arsenic. Before she dies, Flaubert takes the reader through the rise and fall of her two love affairs. But his true subject is not unrequited love and not even adultery. It is fascination. Recalling her encounter with the novel at age eighteen, A.S.

  • July 25th, 2014

    Berlin Now: The City After the Wall nonfiction by Peter Schneider (Farrar Straus & Giroux)
    Borrowed Tales, prose fiction by Deborah Woodard (Stockport Flats)
    The Realm of Last Chances, a novel by Steve Yarbrough (Knopf/Vintage)

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  • July 21st, 2014

    For his eighteenth birthday in 1973, Hervé Guibert received a Rollei 35 camera from his father. Eight years later in 1981, Guibert published L’image fantôme or Ghost Image, a collection of sixty-three short essays on photography that begins with a botched attempt to take a photograph of his mother shortly after receiving the gift.

  • July 17th, 2014

    In her fourth novel, Wonderland, Stacey D’Erasmo has crafted an immersive narrative about artistic creativity and freedom by honoring a basic unknowingness about the subject. She succeeds through the tonal control of her candid and shrewd narrator: Anna Brundage, a 44-year old rock star revered by cultish fans but just now emerging from a seven-year musical silence.