Ron Slate's blog

on The Romantic Dogs, poems by Roberto Bolaño, translated by Laura Healy (New Directions)

Borges, Cortázar, Bolaño. With the recent publication of Bolaño’s novels in English, the Anglophone critics now generally concur with their Hispanic colleagues: Bolaño, who died in 2003 in Catalonia, is the greatest novelist of his foreshortened generation, supplementing the imaginative portfolio of Borges (versus the magical realism of García Márquez).

on The Odor of Sanctity, poems by Michael Heffernan (Salmon Poetry)

NIGHTFALL

What have I done? I said to my own self.
Who have I come to be? I said again.
My own self answered me in her own words.
She told me things I could not understand.
She watched my eyes move when she told me this.
They watched a bird go over the blue sky.
The blue sky took the bird and the bird left.
The air was blue all over where I was.

on The Dawn of the Color Photograph: Albert Kahn’s Archives of the Planet, by David Okefuna (Princeton)

“A phenomenon of such extended malignance as the Great War does not come out of a Golden Age,” wrote Barbara Tuchman in The Proud Tower (1962). The two decades preceding the war still provoke historians to ask why a period of such innovation and productivity led to unprecedented mass violence.

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