Spring By The Very Definition

Анатолий Кузнецов

Бабий Яр: роман-документ Анатолия Кузнецова
Я уважаю честность этого текста. Чувства в нём реальные, искренные. И так как писатель смотрит не только на большие случаи, как любой исторический текст, а на простих людей, большинство чьих количества умирали.
“Какие новые Яры, Майданеки, Хиросимы, [Колымы и Потьмы] – в каких местах и каких новых технических формах – скрыты еще в небытии, в ожидании своего часа? И кто из нас, живущих, уже, может быть, кандидат в них?
Будем ли мы понимать когда-нибудь, что самое дорогое на свете – жизнь человека и его свобода? Или еще предстоит варварство?”

fordmadoxford
The Good Soldier / Ford Madox Ford
The more I read, especially books such as this, recommended by Tobias Wolff, the more I see how important perspective is to a text. This makes me think back to Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad. The most important thing about this book, it seems to me, is the “natural” way Dowell cuts it up, 100 years before films have started doing this. I think it was quite ahead of its time in this way. That “quite” by the way is my aping how Dowell/Ford use it.

Apollo In The Grass / Aleksandr Kushner, translated by Carol Ueland and Robert Carnevale
My review

Белая гвардия Михаила Булгакова
Многие руссофоны считают эту их любимой книгой. А есть паралеллы со современной ситуацей в Украине?
Что сказать об этой книге, об этом авторе? Последная глава говорит про поезд, как будто он бородавочник. Так, как всё живое, очень живое, из-за красноречивости Булгакова, и вовремя войны. “Почему не обратим свой взгляд на них?” Через 90 лет ещё есть такой вопрос.
Пожалуйста, кто-то заспорит со мной о том, что этот роман не лучше Живаго?

“False Documents” / E.L. Doctorow
I read this before Doctorow died a few weeks ago. Somehow it got left out of this post. I really enjoy the frustration that our society undervalues literature, and thus we don’t suffer for our writing like so many writers do. The Soviet Union’s many slaughtered writers come to mind. Is it because of the ubiquity of writing, that the readers are usually writers themselves, that we’re very disconnected with history and how we affect it, that most of our entertainment comes from premium channel series rather than literature? Just say yes.

“The Hum of Zug Island” / Jamaal May (Kenyon Review)
It’s so nice to see somebody using form in poetry again. I talked about this while reviewing Sasha Kushner’s poetry above. Also, Zug Island. Is it like the German word for train? What’s left there? I think some of my ancestors spent some time there. But I’m not Detroit enough to claim any familiarity. Thank you for doing the exploring and describing for me, Mr. May. This is a great poem.

“The Sky, Now Black With Birds” / Jamaal May (Kenyon Review)
What a haunting poem. What a way to capture the paradox of our culture’s regard for death, the state’s use of it as punishment, and the connection with anger about race, about murder, something extremely contemporaneous. Is it a reference to Allen Ginsberg’s “Kaddish”?

“The Whale” / Terrance Hayes (Kenyon Review)
I love the imagination here, the sizes of everything, how I must seem to my daughter, how my father seemed to me.

from Pangyrus, alongside the story

“Cowardice” / Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois (Pangyrus)
A quick little violent shine of light on cowardice here. And quite an interesting journal, from my old stomping grounds.

On Writing Fiction: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About the Craft / Harold Jauss
I don’t agree with everything, but it stirs up good ideas of how to flip things around and writing in general.
Wow, so many great insights in such a sharp, critical voice. Thank you, Harold Jauss, for your encouragement.
What a wonderful, philosophical, critical book, one that would make a great textbook for a CW class.

“In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” / Amy Hempel
I read this highly anthologized story. Try to look at the arm bone.

“Житейская мелочь” Антона Чехова
Прочитал из-за заметки в эссе у Давида Джауса. Я думаю, что сегодня нельзя писать такой рассказ. Ну тогда никто такого не делал, разве нет?

Age of Iron / J.M. Coetzee
Picked up old Coetzee again. Already I can feel my self-doubt trembling.
How could you not love that part about Heaven as a hotel?

Odessa, 1941-1944: A Case Study of Soviet Territory under Foreign Rule / Alexander Dallin
If you ever wanted to read about Transnistria, not the current country but the territory occupied during WWII, its capital Odessa.

Армія без держави Тараса Бульбы-Боровеця
Я не плохо читаю по-украинский…побачил? Хороший националист – этот.

Подземные тайны Одессы Андрея Добролюбского, Андрея Красножона
Наконец-то, очень хорошая книга про катакомбы, очень прямая, но, то что ожидал.

“Сонечка” Людмилы Улицкой
Почему Улицкая не нравится? Её обожаю.

“People Like That Are the Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk” / Lorrie Moore
I reread this almost 9 years later, since Jauss mentions it in his essay on present-tense narrative. Quite an interesting perspective, and now I know it wasn’t the one I was looking for. And I don’t blame parents for skipping this one. Although, I have to say that I think Moore handles it deftly and appropriately. It’s really a triumph, and I didn’t totally understand that 9 years ago.

“Controlled Burn, Wakulla Springs, Florida” / Brenda Butka (Cleaver Magazine)
I think Southerners write best about nature. Jeez, I think Southerners are the best writers. There I said it.

Advertisements