Translation and money laundering

A friend just sent me a link to this excellent interview at the Loggernaut reading series (dateless, it seems, and also timeless?) with Ammiel Alcalay—author, most recently, of “neither wit nor gold” (from then), out from Ugly Duckling, and founder…

Jonathan Franzen on Edith Wharton

Upon reading Jonathan Franzen on Edith Wharton The older I get, the more I’m convinced that a fiction writer’s oeuvre is a mirror of Jonathan Franzen’s character. It may well be a defect of Jonathan Franzen’s character that my literary…

Writing American empire

The most recent issue of Guernica features an essay by Kamila Shamsie on “The Storytellers of Empire,” which considers the insularity (my word, not hers) of contemporary US “post-9/11″ literature. Shamsie is from Pakistan, and wonders why contemporary literature from…

The canon as home?

Tim Parks has a new post on the New York Review of Books blog (discovered via) making an argument for the role of the literary canon—”not an argument for staying at home, but for having a home from which to…

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