- October 21st, 2014on Thousand Times Broken, poems, prose and drawings by Henri Michaux, tr. by Gillian Conoley (City Lights Books)
“Is a statement really necessary?” So begins Henri Michaux’s introduction to a 1963 exhibition catalog of his drawings and gouaches. “Isn’t it obvious that I paint so as to leave words behind, to put an end to the irritating question of how and why? Could it really be that I draw because I see so clearly this thing or that thing?
- October 18th, 2014on Collection of Sand, essays by Italo Calvino, tr. by Martin McLaughlin (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
In the summer of 1985, Italo Calvino completed the work to be delivered that autumn for the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard. But on September 6 he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage at his house in Tuscany and died twelve days later at age 62.
- October 14th, 2014
Books about the psychopathology of the children of trauma survivors form a growing sub-genre of Jewish Holocaust literature. In 2012, an Israeli study went further, claiming to find signs of trauma among the grandchildren.
- September 29th, 2014
Hijacked by a book of poems, I want to know more about my captor. What has given rise to such intentions?
- 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.