My grandfather on my mom’s side, Harold Milne Alexander, reputed distant relative of AA, inventor of Pooh, was himself an inventor. One of his most important innovations was figuring out how glass curved and could be safely used in automobiles. He was employed by Libbey-Owens-Ford, so he didn’t detain the patent, but he never seemed
This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat
Sometimes the best surprises arrive in unmarked brown boxes. In this case the mysterious contents appeared to be harmless enough, despite the intimidating immensity of the thing: it was the new novel by the great Hungarian writer Péter Nádas, a 1,000-plus-page behemoth called Parallel Stories.
Like his last titanic tome, A Book of Memories, the new novel–written over the course
Tear It Down
We find out the heart only by dismantling what the heart knows. By redefining the morning, we find a morning that comes just after darkness. We can break through marriage into marriage. By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond affection and wade mouth-deep into love. We must unlearn the constellations to
Ben Marcus is one of the most playful, irreverent and linguistically exciting novelists at work today. I inhaled Notable American Women when it came out, was bummed when he swooped in and ran Columbia’s MFA program a year after I graduated, and have combed through his new album, The Flame Alphabet, as if it were one
Antonya Nelson is one of my favorite short story writers. One of my favorite writers, period. She has always managed to get the peculiar into the ordinary in the most unexpected ways. And then there’s her phrasing, in both her exposition and her dialogue. Take the opening of her most recent story, “Chapter Two,” from
I don’t think I can do this anymore.
There’s someone new at the door.
When he wrote you did you cut-and-paste?
I used to think it was good to be chaste.
During off-hours trains stop here.
I won the race every year but last year.
There’s a new sheriff in town and it ain’t me.
In my dream I loved you inconclusively.
We all get cancer and die
and want to change
and talk about de Kooning
but not think or think
but not talk.
Barney Rosset has passed away at the age of 90. One could argue that Rosset is one of the most influential–if not the most influential–person in the arts this past century. His influence is strong today, though little celebrated, although recently he’s received some belated exposure. The Daily Be called him “The Most Dangerous Man in
When I was a younger writer caught up in the fever dream of what would be my first abandoned novel, I wrote in a state of panic and dread to David Foster Wallace, then stationed at Illinois State University, in Normal, Illinois. Call this invasion an act of literary stalking, but this was before Infinite