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Reading RACTER’s poems and stories makes you feel as if you are looking at yourself from a great distance, through the lens of a cognitive system that produces meaning and comparisons mechanically, without reference to familiar combinations that make “good sense.” It’s a feeling like the one I used to have sitting in front of my computer alone, late at night, chatting with preprogrammed bots: a sort of intimation or trail that led outward, into the machine, and then, ultimately, back to myself.
Anderson Tepper on Clarice Lispector’s Near to the Wild Heart
In honor of the upcoming New Directions release of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, we decided to hand The Open Bar keys over to the Brazilian legend. Tune in all week for previously unpublished and newly translated stories, as well as reviews and thoughts on her work. Today, Kim Adrian unpacks The Passion According to G.H. […]
From our Science Fair issue, Cheston Knapp on C. P. Snow’s The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution and John Brockman’s The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution. I was born into a house divided. In college, Mom studied history and English, and Dad did biology. Growing up, when we needed help with our homework, […]
As you get ready for your Mad Men Weekend, we thought we’d roll out Leslie Jamison’s look at another drunkard named Don. So the plot of Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend goes something like this: A guy named Don gets drunk. He’s gotten drunk before. He’ll get drunk again. He drinks, passes out, wakes up; […]
As winter presses on, we offer a literary journey to the northern fjords of Spitsbergen, in hopes that you will feel warmer upon your return. This piece, written by Stacy Carlson, first appeared in Issue 49, The Ecstatic. I never doubted my vocation as a writer until I set foot in the Far North. I stepped […]
Jon Raymond on Bellow’s last novel.
I had been running away, feeling useless under the malarial symptoms of my first semester at college: alternately giddy and nauseated, my gut churning from several indigestible love affairs I’d left behind in Oregon. Sick of myself and all my self-referential classmates, I bounced restlessly around my parents’ house looking for something to moor myself […]
Alfred Starr Hamilton (1914-2000), whose poetry has just been resurrected by The Song Cave in the collection A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind, is an embodiment of a recognizable fringe, the outsider artist. The outsider, a familiar if not always friendly creature, is often little unhinged; she—I take up the feminine pronoun in honor of […]
I was twelve years old when I saw a man nearly die. At the time I lived in downtown Reno, on a city block near a porn theater, pawnshops, boarding houses, and casino lights. When I wasn’t visiting my mother in the downtown jail—where she worked—I stayed close to home, exploring and inventing and wondering, […]
At thirteen, what I craved more than a boyfriend or a trim body was an aura of mystery. At a slumber party, I once captivated an audience by standing in a doorway and pressing my hands hard against the frame. When I stepped forward, my arms floated upward of their own accord. My friends had […]
Burt Reynolds can often be found in wrestling singlet or head-to-toe denim, gazing skyward and guffawing at his dizzying good fortune. He has his soulful moments, too. He likes to peer out a window, bare-chested and holding a highball. I suspect he may have been mentally preparing himself for the final photos, which display him—nude but for a ranger’s hat and cigarillo clamped between his teeth—astride a hand-shaped chair.
Was Carradine really so desperate for money or attention that he had to make nice with a bunch of rubbernecking plebs? Apparently not. He didn’t make nice at all. He sat there doing a crossword, head and eyes down, oozing hostility, daring anyone to approach.
What struck me most about Three Cities was its core philosophy, that anti-Semitism is a non-Jewish problem. “In every drop of the ocean all the attributes of the whole ocean are contained, for the ocean consists of drops,” says one of the novel’s characters, according to a Talmudic saying. Similarly, for Asch, the fate of the lowest tier of Russian society, the Jews, becomes a barometer for the viability of an entire nation. Time and time again, by screwing the Jews, Russia’s leaders end up screwing themselves.
Tom Grimes on Norman Mailer’s Miami and the Siege of Chicago
L&F: Philip Roth
Janet Finch on Samantha Dunn’s Failing Paris
Jonathan Lethem on Daniel Fuch’s Williamsburg Trilogy
Elisa Albert on Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado
“Lamb for Eight Persons Four Times is not simply a recipe. It is a way of life,” Capon writes, convincing me again and again that as long as we remember to cook with economy and a full spirit, we’re going to be okay.
David Gates introduced us to Dolly Freed’s cult classic of way,-way-off-the-grid living, Possum Living, back in our first issue. We liked the book so much we ended up reissuing it. Here’s David’s original paean to Possum. I found Dolly Freed’s Possum Living (Universe Books, 1978) in the attic of the fixer-upper farmhouse I bought in […]
When, in my reading, I found hints of a gay man born in 1900 who swam the Panama Canal, crossed the Alps on an elephant, and made the first recorded winter ascent on Mount Fuji, I was determined to read every word he’d written.
Instead of the cliché of a picture-perfect Sabbath dinner disrupted by storm troopers, Badanes paints a rich and disturbing portrait of an already tattered family further unraveling as it faces annihilation.
When she debuted, with her first novel, Raven’s Croak (!), she was a sixty-two-year-old retired knitting teacher from a rural backwater.