Writing Too Strong, Too Talented, To Endure

In┬áKoba The Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million (Vintage International, New York, 2002, pp. 230), Martin Amis writes (on Maxim Gorky‘s relationship with Stalin and his death following his return from exile in Sorrento to a period of ‘recantation’ and self-debasement): Writers were pushed, sometimes physically, sometimes spiritually, into all kinds of unfamiliar shapes byContinue reading “Writing Too Strong, Too Talented, To Endure”

Tim Parks On Writerly Conformity

At The New York Review of Books blog, Tim Parks writes of the “general and ever increasing anxious desire to receive positive feedback” on writing: It is a situation that leads to…an intensification of conformity, people falling over themselves to be approved of….Announce an article…on Facebook and you can count, as the hours go by,Continue reading “Tim Parks On Writerly Conformity”

Meeting The Children (And Grandchildren) Of ‘Celebrities’

Have I told you about the time I met Richard Wright‘s grandson at an academic conference? A few seconds after we had begun conversing, I blurted out, “Your grandfather changed my life, my perception of this world; I saw and understood myself differently once I had read Native Son.” My interlocutor thanked me politely; heContinue reading “Meeting The Children (And Grandchildren) Of ‘Celebrities’”

Vilhelm Ekelund On Dogs And Literary Critics

In Nordic and Classic (reprinted in Dagbok och Diktverk by Sven Linquist, Bonniers, Stockholm 1966; excerpted in Vilhelm Ekelund: The Second Light, North Point Press, San Francisco, 1986, page 26), Vilhelm Ekelund, the master Swedish poet and aphorist, writes: Into the dog’s sense of life enters, no doubt as an essential fact, the joy thatContinue reading “Vilhelm Ekelund On Dogs And Literary Critics”