Browsing: March-April 2013

March-April 2013

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TWO YEARS AGO [March-April 2011], I reviewed Christopher Isherwood’s Diaries: The Sixties in this publication, in an essay called “Too Much Information!” The title was mine; the exclamation point was not. While I found much of value in the book, as I had in the previous volume, which covers 1939 to 1960, I registered an objection to the decision by Isherwood’s partner, Don Bachardy, and editor Katherine Bucknell to publish the diaries in full. I wrote, “some editing would have been a kindness to Isherwood, who is spared nothing in these pages.” Now that we have the rest of the diaries, I find myself compelled to reevaluate that criticism. …

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… Golden Age is a provocative meditation on the overlapping nature of sexual love and artistic creation. Both the artist and the lover strain to grasp what is ineffable, creating in one’s mind a beauty that can never be fully realized, much less tangibly enjoyed. …

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AUTHOR of thirteen books, a play, a libretto for a dance opera, and several cut-and-paste novels, Seattle-based Rebecca Brown has been dubbed “the greatest secret of American letters” by literary bad boy Dale Peck.

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THE FIRST FAMOUS PERSON I wrote to when I moved to New York in 1980 was Howard Moss, the long-time poetry editor of The New Yorker. He was the one person, it seemed, that every literary figure—from W. H. Auden to Elizabeth Bishop, Lillian Hellman, or John Updike—knew and liked as a friend.

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Editor’s Note: The sudden, shocking death by suicide of 26-year-old Aaron Swartz, programming genius and free speech activist, provoked a huge Internet backlash when it was learned that he was being aggressively pursued by a Massachusetts prosecutor for the alleged crime of downloading scholarly articles from the database GSTOR. The case raises all kinds of issues of prosecutorial overreach, antiquated laws governing cyberspace, and so on. But there’s also a curious twist in that Aaron Swartz was apparently gay or bi-or, rather, not …

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Steve Finbow has written a brief biography of Allen Ginsberg as part of the Critical Lives series published in England.

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… “How did Proust read?” it begins. “As a child, like all of us: for the plot and characters. But even at a very young age, reading was for him a very serious business, and he was outraged by the fact that it could be considered by grownups as something one did to amuse oneself.” …

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From the Sometimes-these-things-write-themselves File A 911 call came into the call center in Springfield, Illinois, from a man saying in a muffled voice: “I’m stuck in a pair of handcuffs and I’m going to need help getting out before it becomes a medical emergency.” Turns out it was Father Tom Donovan of the St. Aloysius Church—who would have guessed?

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