Tuesday, April 27 2004
Henry Kissinger once said that the best thing about celebrity is that when you bore people, they think it's their fault. But what happens if celebrities bore each other?"
Any redeeming corruption, sleaze and seduction of California in Thornburg's hands fails to sustain any kind of punch.
Tuesday, April 20 2004
The key themes of history as closure, a kind of irreversible process sealed by death into a possibility of resurrection, are never far away in Nagy's poetry.
So, which is it? The good wife afraid to undress in the light, or unabashed dominatrix ready to school the world on the ways of the woman?"
Griest stumbled into cultures that were significantly more complex than the Amnesty International literature might lead one to believe.
I would like nothing more than to believe that the criticism of the book stems from politics and not from any failing on Bellesiles' part. But the evidence against him is fairly damning.
Tuesday, April 13 2004
One of the weaknesses of this otherwise very readable history is Shapiro's decision not to look at the metaphorical function of illegal drugs in movies. He is altogether too literal.
The novel purports to be as felicitous and random as everyday life, but in truth it is precisely plotted and predetermined beyond all spontaneity.
It's as if the worst aspects of advanced capitalism have come true. Orgasm equals validation, promiscuity determines popularity, fashion determines social hierarchy, and savvy manipulation of others is the highest pursuit of all.
The novel offers a darker view of religion, highlighting the dangers of an all-powerful church that binds its adherents to their suffering rather than offering them genuine solutions.
Tuesday, April 6 2004
There is something in the less logical, more associative poems that is appropriate, and has the most enduring, mystic resonance.
Hungarian film has, until now, remained a 'specialist' subject, due variously to Hungary's political situation, a reluctance of the 'West' to translate and promote these films, and the notorious difficulty of the Hungarian language.
Even before you're done reading that subtitle, about 'writers running wild,' the theme is already being stretched to fill out the book.
Nettuno is painted as an almost mythical place, like Garcia Marquez's Macondo, where the only news of major league North American baseball comes via such quaint outlets as the newspaper and, occasionally, the radio.
Tuesday, March 23 2004
The tension no longer rests in the female narrators' attempts to find and define themselves, but instead flows from the way their actions shape the lives of their offspring.
He protects against lasting human connections by deploying a steady stream of vitriol to any person unlucky enough to be within earshot. To Christensen's credit, she never dilutes his obnoxiousness to make him or the novel more palatable.
For many occupants, life and death became a matter of where you were, which way you went and the sometimes unintended consequences of design.
By throwing medication into the mix, Hollowell confuses the theology. Does God deny his visions to people who are on psychiatric medication?"
Tuesday, March 9 2004
I'm not sure if this is an anthology of prose, poetry, a collection of gags, or something else altogether.
This story, subtitled Lady Florence Baker and the Exploration of Central Africa does not merely address the gender inequalities of 19th century Europe, it is actually written much more with Sam's voice than with Florence's voice.