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If the quality of Hollywood fare is taken as a fair reading of the nations state of mind, then maybe there is meaning in how pervasive the corporate blockbuster model has become: all or nothing, boom or bust, like a desperate gambler deep in the hole and betting his last thread of clothing on the success of this one prospect and no otherthe whole time denying there is any gamble at all.
In Strohms opinion, the painting of Chaucer before the king contains an invented scene, a folk fantasy imagined retroactively some time after the poets death. And the king? Well, thats Richard II. At least it was the king until somebody got it in mind to scratch his resemblance out, so that what reached us over the course of the centuries is Chaucer reading his work to a royal audience, at the center of which sits a faceless head wearing a crown.
Song, return, repetition, claims of ancestral knowledge, and scandal: each figure has prominent elements in Adrienne Celt’s debut novel, The Daughters. Lulu, an opera performer descended from generations of female singers, several of whom occupy her living memory, is at the center of this feature, and it is a center to which the narrative loops again and again, enacting a sort of eternal return of its own via Lulu’s sinuous reflections.
In a small cabin with low ceilings a short walk uphill from the Homer Noble farmhouse, Robert Frost is reported to have spent a great many of his later summers in Vermont.
In Backyard, the first of two stories in Sam Aldens recent New Construction, a radical commune in a southern-seeming town must sort through tensions when one of its membersa young woman suffering from an unspecified sexual traumabegins behaving exactly like a dog: going around on all-fours, barking, and antagonizing the communally kept chickens in the backyard.
I dont care what Bob Dylan said, Michael writes in Unsolicited Advice. I say do think twiceat least twice. He was never not one for doubling back.
Everyone moves, carries stuff, backpacks, gym bags, but mostly some idea of themselves."
On an outwardly pleasant day in early April of 2017, the author appears in profile through the glass panels of his front door. When the buzzer sounds, Paul Auster rises from his dining-room table to welcome me. I have arrived, on the dot, at 2 p.m. to discuss his teeming new novel of the 1960s 4 3 2 1. It is a bildungsroman with a speculative twist: four different lives lived in alternating sequence by the same young man.
In June of 2009, I began work at the Gold Street office of Electric Literature, a publication conceived as an anthology of five stories issued three or four times a year.
The band hailed from upstate. Davis heard them for the first time underground one morning at 34th Street Station, a few months after he arrived in the city. He was living in the back of a British expat’s apartment, a space accessible only through a hobbit-sized door from the bathroom off the main stairwell.