“Who are the modern heirs of James Joyce?”

The New York Times Book Review has instituted a new feature recently, in which they pose a question to a pair of writer-critics. Generally the answers are constrained by the word-limits imposed by the newspaper-article format and pervasive historical nearsightedness.…

Anne Sexton and Poetic Atavism

  Rereading the Collected Poems of Anne Sexton, she seems to me to have become, over her career, the least “Confessional” of the poets given that label. Apparently she suffered from what we would today call bipolar disorder, took up…

Epic Fail

The most inflated reputation in literary history came about as the result of genuine literary merit crossed with a transnational empire and language. Many people would assume I speak of Shakespeare, but “bardolatry” has nothing on the near-sainting of the…

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