Faust Pt. 1
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, trans. by Randall Jarrell
Back to the heavy stuff.
As I’ve said before, there are books you’re supposed to read if you fancy yourself a product of the Enlightenment. That doesn’t mean mindless adherence to the canon but it does suggest you have to be more than merely dismissive of it.
Still, I am a busy, perhaps more accurately a lazy, man , and I Continue reading
The Screwtape Letters
Sin. What a quaint term. No one cares about sin anymore, do they?
Maybe they do. It’s hard to imagine that a trilogy about a lion and a piece of furniture is solely responsible for most of the works of a long-dead author still being available in Continue reading
I had novel-reading days. Great heaps of literary fiction inhaled at a ferocious rate. Then I stopped and I’m still not sure why.
Maybe I got to a point where the thrill of the first encounter was gone. Maybe I was dismayed, having burned through all the writers I’d discovered whose work resonated with me. Maybe feeling I was always missing something finally caught up with me and I gave up.
So I stopped almost cold turkey. There were a few false starts, moments when I hoped I’d encountered a new voice–maybe one more Continue reading
Open outcry. It may be the romance in finance, to turn the old Tiny Grimes lyric on its head,
Readers of a certain age may not even recognize the term. But from the earliest days at the buttonwood tree until about 10 years ago open outcry was a way, and for a very long time the only way, traders communicated with each other. A trading floor in full roar may be the ultimate Continue reading
William Dean Howells
I was raised on classic romantic comedies. True, you couldn’t escape the endless stream of WWII movies in constant rerun, but if there was a choice Mom always picked the chick flick. Which is why I have a weakness for the form.
William Dean Howells has convinced me that before we Continue reading
I grew up lost in historical fiction. Johnny Tremain, was big. So was The Link Boys, set in London a bit earlier than 1700. I can’t explain the fascination. I only know it faded sometime after I read Ragtime. Too many coincidences for one family, I thought.
And so, when I read a profile of Hilary Mantel, I wondered what the fuss was about. In part it was the Continue reading
The Charm School
Return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. No, not the wild west, or even The Wild, Wild West, but to the days of East versus West. Around these parts vacation means light reading and nowadays Cold War thrillers seems downright quaint.
This time Mr. DeMille takes us a little farther afield than Long Island, the site of the last Cold War tale we read from him. If you’ve been here before you know that one of my Continue reading