Driving With Virginia Woolf

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Bayeux Tapestry Horses in Battle of Hastings by Virginia Woolf Evening is kind to Sussex, for Sussex is no longer young, and she is grateful for the veil of evening as an elderly woman is glad when a shade is drawn over a lamp, and only the outline of her face remains. The outline of…

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D&D

L-R: Fyodor Dostoevsky and Charles Dickens From The Times Literary Supplement: Late in 2011, Michiko Kakutani opened her New York Times review of Claire Tomalin’s biography of Charles Dickens with “a remarkable account” she had found in its pages. In London for a few days in 1862, Fyodor Dostoevsky...

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A Swigswag

by Joe Linker “The idea that everyone has a story to tell (which underlies the notion that anyone can write since all a writer needs is a story) is strictly correct,” Jenny Diski said, writing in the London Review of Books (7 Mar, 21) about Marco Roth’s memoir, The...

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Impressions are the very air we breathe…

I should not have affixed so comprehensive a title to these few remarks, necessarily wanting in any completeness, upon a subject the full consideration of which would carry us far, did I not seem to discover a pretext for my temerity in the interesting pamphlet lately published under this...

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‘Superstition is the poetry of life’

Black Cat, Onchi Kochiro, 1952  by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‏ Superstition is the poetry of life; both build an imaginary world, and between the things of the actual, palpable world they anticipate the most marvelous connections. Sympathy and antipathy govern everywhere. Poetry is ever freeing itself from such fetters as...

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Loss and Death

Vladimir Nabokov From The New York Times: The Russian Revolution upended the lives of Vladimir Nabokov and his family. Leaving behind an aristocratic world of colossal wealth and privilege (a world about which he could speak of “the smallest and oldest of our gardeners”), Nabokov would become an exile...

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Lateness

Relativism apart, I do not doubt that one can point to processes like the six developments described by Van Dijk and Vaessens. However, I am not convinced by their overall interpretation of the situation as testifying to the emergence of a new kind of postmodernism, ‘Late Postmodern Literature’, or...

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Always Delighted

Henry James, 1890 by Willa Cather Their mania for careless and hasty work is not confined to the lesser men. Howells and Hardy have gone with the crowd. Now that Stevenson is dead I can think of but one English speaking author who is really keeping his self-respect and...

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See Prog 0

From From Hell, by Alan Moore, 1999. Illustrated by Eddie Campbell From The Comics Journal: I have in my l life met one or two people who were so well brought up that they had never read a comic. They tended to have an underdeveloped sense of humour. Whether...

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Gentlemen Prefer Loos

L-R: Jean Harlow and Anita Loos promoting Red-Headed Woman, 1932 by Elyse Graham When James Joyce was nearly blind and working on the first draft of Finnegans Wake, the book he permitted himself during his daily reading window was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a best-selling satire by Anita Loos. ...

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A Monk Surfing

What is prayer? When I was a kid, I learned the Catholic prayers, and believed Sister Mary Annette, who liked to quote Shakespeare, when she said, “Words without thought never to heaven go.” King Claudius is trying to pray, looks like he is praying, to Hamlet, anyway, and so...

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‘Feeling something at white heat’

Amy Lowell, from the cover of TIME Magazine, March 2, 1925 by Amy Lowell Why should one read poetry? That seems to me a good deal like asking: Why should one eat? One eats because one has to, to support life, but every time one sits down to dinner...

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The Anglo-Irish Ascendancy had a keen eye for the price of an acre…

The Anglo-Irish Ascendancy were an odd mixture of the soft-headed and the hard-nosed. If they could be a dreamy, spook-ridden, eccentric bunch, they also had a keen eye for the price of an acre or the cost of a domestic servant. Washed up by history and finally dispossessed by...

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Death’s Irony Surpasses All Others!

In the fall of 1849, Gustave Flaubert invited his two closest friends—Louis Bouilhet and Maxime du Camp—to hear a reading of what he believed was to be his masterpiece: a retelling of the temptation of St. Anthony. The 30 year-old writer had been working on it for four years,...

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Technical Estrangement

Implicit in the Google view is the idea that our consciousness itself is no longer capable of attending to thought, communication, and reflection without technical assistance. In the same year, the Ars Industrialis group declared in their Manifesto that we must “struggle against carelessness , against the destruction of...

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James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Marcel-Duchamp-Leaving-the-Cafe-1

Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as...

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Bobbi Lurie
Duchamp-smoking-through-the-cracked-glass

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

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Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were...

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Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is...

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Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

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MashaTheDevilProbably

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

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“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

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Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

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Masha Tupitsyn
sickert

No one can love anymore because of an overabundance of reaction formation. No one wants to owe anything to their desire(s); to other people’s...

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How could a man born on a Greek island in 1850 be a household name in Japan today? The answer lies in the story...

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kentridge1

Jean Améry titled his renowned book on voluntary death, Hand an Sich Legen – To lay Hands on Oneself. Beyond the argument of Amery...

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letters

Several months ago, I wrote a long letter by hand to a young woman I barely knew. That sounds pretty dubious, if not to...

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Kemmler

In a move that might strike readers as odd, Derrida spends most of these lectures not on the case made by death penalty proponents,...

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