Tag Archives: Literature

Reviewing “A Hero of Our Time”

Mikhail Lermontov straddled the mountain ridge of Russian creative culture, between poetry of the ‘intelligentsia’ during the days of high empire and the period of prose that both was led by and inspired the revolutionary time of Russia’s coming of … Continue reading

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Scientists have recently discovered a sixth great ocean, underground, between the upper and lower layers of the Earth’s crust. Jules Verne wrote about this in “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, published in England in 1871. Verne was an … Continue reading

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The Cider House Rules

I bought this book because the movie was beautiful, and I wanted to read a beautiful book. The depression era produced America’s greatest works of literature. Trauma scares and scars and the most sensitive take to the pen to try … Continue reading

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The Moon and Sixpence

This is not the first time I’ve read “The Moon and Sixpence” by W. Somerset Maugham. Maugham is England’s best Edwardian novelist, living in that turn of the century period when imperial decline was just visible on the edges, but … Continue reading

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On Prophets and MISRULE

I have been feeling these days more often like my namesake, that grand Hebrew prophet of old seated atop a mountain decrying the wickedness around and imploring people to seek God. They never do, seek God. Wickedness is way too … Continue reading

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On Dune

Achieving the level of creativity and having the courage to invent something completely new is hard. Usually we regurgitate things we have seen and most stories are the rewriting of other people’s stories. Most fantasy is an attempt to rewrite … Continue reading

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Prester John

We from the West believe that history stopped perhaps in Moscow, picking up again maybe in Beijing but probably more realistically in Tokyo. The expanse between, a wasteland. Stories of Siberian gulags and the endless windswept steppes. Then came Genghis … Continue reading

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American Writers in Istanbul

“Everybody is writing their Turkey books” Rose Macaulay once wrote in her lovely travel book Towers of Trebizond. This one is Kim Fortuny’s. Kim, it seems, is a professor of American Literature at a university in Istanbul. I love Istanbul … Continue reading

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Levy, Intellectuals and Paris

This should have been marketed and sold as a booklet. Essay selections rarely work in book form, few writers can pull this off and Bernard Henri Levy is no exception. I would have been disappointed, except Levy began the book … Continue reading

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The Pleasure of Ruins

There is something wondrously nostalgic about Rose Macaulay’s “Pleasure of Ruins”. Perhaps it is her tremendous learning. The book just drips arcane knowledge about a past long lost to us, but extraordinary in its power. We all love ruins, though … Continue reading

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