Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Susannah Hunnewell

I missed the news last June that Susannah Hunnewell, my favorite interviewer from The Paris Review, passed on. In fact, I did not know that she was the interviewer I admired or the publisher of the journal, but The Paris Review interviews that she conducted with Michel Houellebecq, Harry Mathews, and the Russian-to-English translating team of Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky are among my favorite author interviews. Sadly, she died young, only 52. Safe passage.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

slovenly and grand

"Like Von Humboldt Fleisher of Saul Bellow's fictional portrait, Delmore in 1939 was 'slovenly and grand,' his ample hair swept back, 'his face with widely separated eyes white and tense.' Cosmopolitan, radical, at home with Rilke, Trotsky, Pound, he was the very embodiment of the New York intelligentsia. Declaiming in what [Alfred] Kazin described as 'gulps of argument,' Delmore transformed Greenwich Village in his talk from a province into cultural capital, importing ideas from the whole European tradition and adapting them to the sprawl and chaos of contemporary America."

~~ from James Atlas's Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet

Sunday, November 3, 2019

a good night's rest

"'History is a nightmare during which I am trying to get a good night's rest,' he once noted in his journal, reversing the famous remark of Joyce's Dedalus. Delmore used to say that he was twice as old as everyone else because he never slept[.]"

~~ from James Atlas's Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

at all costs

"The children come first," Mr. A. said to me at the time. "You understand that. We have to protect the children at all costs."

~~ from A Fan's Notes by Frederick Exley

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

"minimizing participles to the extreme"

~~ from One StoryKate Folk on writing

Monday, October 21, 2019

the intellectual life

"I once heard my friend Edward Shils say that the intellectual life was the most passionate life a human being could lead; I think of this when I consider what a man like [Elie] Kedourie does and ask myself whether I could bear the excitement and danger of his sort of career--the emotional danger and the mental responsibilities, I mean."

~~ from Saul Bellow's To Jerusalem and Back

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Auggie's Revenge: Reviews, Interviews, and Excerpts

Book Reviews: "The Teaching Life as a House of Troubles," by Don Riggs, American, British and Canadian Studies , June 1, 2017 ...