The Poet’s Participation in the Global Economy

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How can and how does the poet contribute to the political, historical, and economic tradition of their society?

Stephen King’s Misery, Delphine de Vigan’s Based on a True Story, and Writers’ Fears

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If de Vigan’s novel indulges the writer’s fear that the writing may dry up, King’s indulges a different but related fear: that you will be forced to write, forever, what you long to outgrow.

Reading Roughly

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It doesn’t take much formal study to read a novel in another language, if you don’t mind being unable to understand the occasional sentence or paragraph. It depends more on guessing and sympathy with a particular language or culture than it does on a knowledge of grammar or vocabulary.

Robert F. Kennedy and the Ancient Greeks of Edith Hamilton

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Hamilton’s reconstruction of Athenian tragedy, Americanized to focus on individual “poetically transmuted pain,” appealed to Robert F. Kennedy.

Julie Maroh’s Body Music: Looking for Love in Montreal

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Last year, Julie Maroh published another graphic novel, Body Music, a series of short vignettes about people and their love stories. It takes place in Montreal, starting July 1st – the day when people usually move out or in – and spans one year, coming back full circle.

Lines from Limbo

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When I began to make a concerted effort to study Irish in college, I could not help but feel at times that the process was less one of starting from zero than of anamnesis, the slow recollection of a dormant inborn knowledge.

Cultural Legibility in America’s Dark Chapter

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What does it mean to be culturally legible? And what does cultural legibility mean with regard to writing about or from within one’s own culture?

Man on Trial

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In David Grossman’s award-winning novel A Horse Walks into a Bar, the narrator, a retired judge, describes one night in the life of the protagonist, Dovaleh, a stand-up comedian in his late fifties and his lost childhood friend.

Remembering Jules Romains’s The Death of a Nobody

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In the summer of 1991, I was twenty-two and voraciously read works I was too young to fully absorb. I couldn’t possibly have understood what true regret of a lost love was after a life had already been half-lived.

The Readers: William H. Gass and Documenting the Self

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Behaving authentically in the world is never easy or straightforward; critics like William Gass show us, among many other things, that we are not alone in these questions of authenticity, and that we never really have been.