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”

Hagiography as Biography: Turning Writers into Saints

Tim Parks wonders why biographies of writers flirt with hagiograpy, why they are so blind to their subjects’ faults: With only the rarest of exceptions…each author is presented as simply the most gifted and well-meaning of writers, while their behavior, however problematic and possibly outrageous…is invariably described in a flattering light…special pleading is everywhere evident,Continue reading “Hagiography as Biography: Turning Writers into Saints”

The Nightmare of the Lost Semester

It has just come to my notice that the New York Review of Books has been running a series on dreams. Thus far, entries include Georges Perec’s “Fifty Kilos of Quality Meat,” Charles Simic’s “Dreams I’ve Had (and Some I Haven’t),”Michael Chabon’s “Why I Hate Dreams” and Nicholson Baker’s ‘On the Stovetop of Sleep.’ Inspired byContinue reading “The Nightmare of the Lost Semester”

The Masterpiece Too Horrible To Recommend: Francine Prose on Haneke’s Amour

Francine Prose–(what an excellent last name!)–titles her review of Michael Haneke‘s Amour ‘A Masterpiece You Might Not Want to See’, (New York Review of Books Blog, 7 January 2013) and begins with the following: Michael Haneke’s Amour is the ultimate horror film. With its portrayal of the shocks, the cruelties and indignities to which old age and disease subjectContinue reading “The Masterpiece Too Horrible To Recommend: Francine Prose on Haneke’s Amour”