In a word, poetry can not exist without emotion, or, if you will, without a movement of the soul which regulates the words.
— Paul Claudel, born in 1868
Burtons and home made pizza 🍕 create a relaxing Sunday afternoon ...
A eulogy for the . This most eccentric and likeable of institutions shows every sign of being being annihilated
At Publishers Weekly John Maher and Ed Nawotka report on how Three Indie Presses Make Moves in Nonfiction, as: "Three independent publishing houses best known for their fiction in translation are upping their nonfiction game": Deep Vellum, Europa Editions, and Transit Books.
My preference of course remains for fiction, but there are some interesting-sounding projects here, including Deep Vellum's Dispatches from the Republic of Letters: 50 Years of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature; pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
“Caste” gets off to an uncertain start. Its first pages summon, in dystopian-novel fashion, the results of the 2016 election alongside anthrax trapped in the permafrost being released into the atmosphere because of global warming. Wilkerson is making a point about old poisons returning to haunt us. But by pulling in global warming (a subject she never returns to in any real fashion) so early in her book, you wonder if “Caste” will be a mere grab bag of nightmare impressions.
A critic shouldn’t often deal in superlatives. He or she is here to explicate, to expand context and to make fine distinctions. But sometimes a reviewer will shout as if into a mountaintop megaphone. I recently came upon William Kennedy’s review of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” which he called “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.” Kennedy wasn’t far off.
I had these thoughts while reading Isabel Wilkerson’s new book, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.” It’s an extraordinary document, one that strikes me as an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far. It made the back of my neck prickle from its first pages, and that feeling never went away.
I told more than one person, as I moved through my days this past week, that I was reading one of the most powerful nonfiction books I’d ever encountered.
I mean, how can you not want to read a book that stirs a seasoned critic like that, particularly when the author also wrote the fantastic The Warmth of Other Suns? You can buy Caste at Bookshop, get the Kindle version, or read a lengthy piece adapted from the book.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jean-Patrick Manchette's 1973 novel, No Room at the (Vrbov) Morgue, the latest Manchette in translation from New York Review Books.
Always good to see more Manchette -- and there are a few more to go. Not to mention the nearly thousand-page Journal 1966-1974 -- see the Folio publicity page -- or what about the recently published 'chroniques ludiques' collection, Play it again, Dupont -- see the La Table Ronde publicity page .....