Posts Tagged ‘New York Review of Books’

Excellent article in the New York Review of Books by Michael Kimmelman on Gertrude Stein and her brothers, Leo and Michael. Kimmelman explores, among other topics,  Stein’s puzzling support of  Fascism.

“What might be called the inherent narcissism of modernist abstraction, with its inward-turning focus on its own formal means and devices, its willful divorce from the sort of close social observation and proletarian politics that caused writers like Dreiser, Zola, and Sinclair Lewis to be tarred as anti-modernists, is not incompatible with the clean-sweep radicalism promised by fascism… (nor) with the notion of a centralized, supreme… authority.”

Recommended.

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The New York Review of Books has published three new, previously untranslated poems by Tomas Transtromer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this month. Click here to see the poems and an excellent bio. (You can also read more Transtromer at the Academy of American Poet’s site and at the Poetry Foundation.)

If you like these poems and wonder which of Transtromer’s books to read, see this excellent article in Slate. Slate’s top recommendation: Tomas Tranströmer: Selected Poems, 1954 – 1986, edited by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass. I have read this book and recommend it highly.

bookmobile

Bat Terrier, like most writers, is a big believer in libraries, so Robert Darnton‘s idea of a national digital library seems like a Very Good Thing Indeed. (For more details, see this post.) A national digital library, as Darnton envisions it, would make freely available via the Internet virtually all of the books and other documents now held by America’s best research libraries. There are hurdles, of course, primarily legal, but the cost is surprisingly cheap, compared, say, to the costs of maintaining a war. Well worth thinking about as we muddle onward. More detail and discussion here.