Showing posts from November, 2019

Thanksgiving: Daniel Halpern

NOVEMBER 21 [1999] Thanksgiving: Daniel Halpern Anyone who has had a newborn arrive in their life knows how powerful and hard to describe the emotions are. Twentieth-century poets have mostly stayed away from them. They are too frail. They are not mammal grief and rage, even though they can turn into grief and rage. (That's what King Lear is about.) And the example of the tradition of domestic and familial poetry in Victorian America has not encouraged us. It made the subject seem impossible to approach without sentimentality. Language makes the distinction: we speak of anger and desire as "feeling," the tender and uneasy stuff around the helplessness of infants, and the impulse to protect children we call "sentiment." And it's probably well that we do. Because they are frail emotions, and they are capable of turning into something quite savage. Nevertheless it is a deep thing, the wonder (and fear) at the arrival of a newborn child

SN 2014

SN 2014 AFTERWORD Reading Graham Greene in the Twenty-First Century Monica Ali Note: GCC vô net, kiếm ra cái jacket của cuốn mới mua, xb 2011 Here, Greene receives the Catholic Book Award for the novel, The End of the Affair. Bạt Đọc Graham Greene trong thế kỷ 21 Đầu năm nay, trong khi dậy khóa MFA ở Đại Học Columnia, tôi có 1 cuộc bàn luận sôi nổi với một nhóm sinh viên về Người Mỹ Trầm Lặng. Với một số, ở giữa tuổi đôi mươi thì đây là lần đầu gặp GG, qua sách. Hầu hết thì coi phim, ấn bản mới, làm lại, với Brendan Fraser là diễn viên. Ai cĩng có nhiều điều để nói, đặc biệt là về tính cách của nhân vật chính Alden Pyle, và anh ta là cái gì đối với xã hội văn hoá, và chính trị Mẽo. Điều thú vị của buổi nói chuyện, là, nếu có ai tình cờ ghé qua, và trong đầu chẳng có gì về cuốn sách, hay là có tí ti, thì cũng đều tỏ ra ngỡ ngàng, tại làm sao mà 1 cuốn tiểu thuyết được xb cách cả nữa thế kỷ, mà lại "hot" đến như thế Trong s

The Lessons of the Master

The Lessons of the Master Ian Buruma November 20, 2008 Issue The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul by Patrick French Knopf, 554 pp., $30.00 1. Many writers—myself included—owe a great debt to V.S. (“Vidia”) Naipaul. He opened up new literary possibilities, ways of seeing and describing the world, especially the non-Western world. The hardest thing for admirers is to avoid imitating him. To sound like a writer one respects may be a sincere form of flattery, but it is also a profound misunderstanding of what makes Naipaul, or indeed any good writer, extraordinary. Finding his own voice is something of an obsession to which Naipaul returns often in his reflections on writing: the constant search for his place in the world, a unique perspectiv

Year One: Our President Ubu

Year One: Our President Ubu Charles Simic Private Collection/De Agostini Picture Library/G. Dagli Orti/Bridgeman Images A painting by Jean-Martin Bontoux of King Ubu in Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi , late twentieth century The only character I can think of in the world literature who resembles Donald Trump is Père Ubu in the play Ubu Roi (“Ubu the King”) by Alfred Jarry that famously opened and closed in Paris on December 10, 1896, after starting a riot. A parody of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and now a classic of the theater of the absurd and the forerunner of the Dada and Surrealism movements, the play is a depiction of the lust for power, full of insolent nonsense and violent horseplay. Père Ubu is a buffoonish pretender to the throne of Poland, a brutal and greedy megalomaniac who, after killing off the royal family, starts murdering his own population in order to rob them of their money. One audience member at