It’s been impossible to ignore the furor surrounding the revelation of Elena Ferrante’s identity last month. Some consider it an inevitability, yet the majority of her fans seem to feel that it is enough to have been given the gift of her writing, without expressly violating her wishes.
I’ll admit that I do believe in knowing about the author when I’m reading a book. The limits of an approach that is basically all about the text, and nothing but the text – so that taking into account biographical or historical elements, in short replacing the text within
This fall, for the first time in my life, I’ve been teaching undergraduates. For the first time in their lives, they’ve had someone ask them whether there are surprise dance parties on campus. Surprise dance parties are, in my experience, one of the pinnacles of an undergraduate liberal arts
With many contemporary poets publishing (sometimes multiple) memoirs, there’s clearly a desire for these writers to share their worlds in a form other than poetry. Is it as simple as the appealing arc of a compelling narrative? What other issues might come to bear, particularly in our current social
It’s the time-in-a-place, couldn’t-have-happened-any-other-way moments we keep close like the pillars of our personal pantheons that create lives out of impulsive decisions, unfortunate situations, and well-timed placement. It’s the first times that are finales to culminated forces – sometimes well planned, sometimes purely by chance – and the beginnings
To write about Robert Walser when considering the unsung modernists of the 20th century seems both a falsehood and a complete necessity.
In the dark, being told stories carries weight. There’s a power there, for some stories, that doesn’t seem to exist during the day. When I was a child, my family would take daytrips in the car and when we drove home it would be night. My mom would turn
Peter Ho Davies is the author of two collections, The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love, and the novel The Welsh Girl. His new novel, The Fortunes, is out this month.
“My greatest influences are those moments in my past where I’ve been surprised, or where I’ve surprised someone. Those are the moments that stay with me. Reading Jonathan Goldstein’s book Lenny Bruce is Dead was one of those instances where I was profoundly surprised.”
Nature writing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but add some cinema and cultural intrigue and you’ve got some evocative reading. Such is the case with Trudy Dittmar’s Fauna and Flora, Earth and Sky: Brushes with Nature’s Wisdom, a collection of essays from University of Iowa Press.