Tuesday, January 8 2002
A meditation on creation, destruction, ordinariness, sanity-insanity and the fine line between the two.
The Feud that Sparked the Renaissance: How Brunelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art World by Paul R
He proposes a reasonable and engaging thesis -- that in Florence in 1403, two men, Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, fired the first shots of an artistic revolution that marked 'the beginning of a modern consciousness.'"
The one unarguable hallmark of a Southerner, however, is his or her inborn, innate ability to tell a story. 'Lonzie's Fried Chicken', a small and succulent literary journal out of Lynn, North Carolina, is busy providing space for the storytellers of the New South to spin their tales and work their special magic.
A pleasantly un-self-conscious blend of subjects and settings.
These texts together form an intricate picture of a state of American literature and give the reader access to new works by promising authors.
Monday, December 3 2001
While this is a noble endeavor and one that makes for a wonderful eclecticism from one issue to the next, it also means occasionally taking the bad eggs with the good.
Since its inception, the 'North American Review' has been a journal with a reputation for strong 'literary' writing.
Monday, June 4 2001
On first blush, it would seem Steve Earle might need more than a doghouse rose to make up for foisting this book on his fans. By the end, you realize the book 'itself' is a doghouse rose. 'It ain't much,' you can imagine him saying as he hands it over, 'but I did it for you.'"
Sunday, January 1 1995
Susanna Kaysen's mission seems to be to put her life on the page. Famous for Girl, Interrupted, her autobiographical material fills volumes.
What's to stop the 'others unknown' from targeting the INS office in Los Angeles and then the FBI office in Houston, Texas, according to one proposed plan?"
It's no surprise that an anthology of this kind ['American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement'] would come along sooner or later, but that shouldn't take away from its merits. This book needed to happen, both for its subject matter and for its delivery (and -ance).
... is rich with shimmering moments of truth, flashes of brilliant insight, a wealth of fascinating personal experiences, and plenty of food for thought. The reader is drawn out of his or her own 'box' and into an intriguing, unfamiliar, and often exotic world. My honest reaction after finishing the book was to wish I could email all these interesting, lively women so we could keep the discussion going.
Nick Tosches's elegantly written and emotionally satisfying case for [elusive singer Emmett Miller] makes one think of American music in an altogether different manner. Tosches convinces us that hearing Miller and the expansiveness of his yodel redraws the landscape of our cultural environment.
David Hofstede presents wrestling from its early days of genuine competition to its current offerings of circus-like performances, but throughout the book he shows a deep respect for the sport.
'What the Fuck' is too concerned with being artsy and obscure to truly be what it envisions itself as: the Johnny Depp film of literary porn.
People appear who may not be people, things happen that might not have really happened, and the answers provided may be merely lies. McCabe does not know if the tricks before his eyes originate from the heavens, outer space, drugs, or future technology, but for the reader these tricks make the fictional small town of Crane's View, New York continually interesting.
It was the 'rules and regulations' of punk aesthetic, sound, and lifestyle that limited its potential and undermined its intention to be a culture more enlightened then the powdered and corporate-sponsored products.
It's designed to make you think about what you laugh at.
...a gritty tale rendered with tough, spare prose that fits the story like a flak jacket.