Year: 2018

  • Giovanni’s Room – Sex

      Sex is a difficult thing to write about. Too graphic and it reads like porn, too tame and the writer seems inexperienced or, worse, fearful. The Literary Review gives out an annual prize called the Bad Sex in Fiction Award for lines like this one from 2017 “winner” Christoper Bollen: The skin along her […]

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  • Giovanni’s Room – Paris

      Even though I do it myself sometimes (like now), I have a problem with people who can write fiction when they write non-fiction, because fiction is art and non-fiction is…something else. Non-fiction can tell you the truth, which is important, but fiction does something much better: it points to the places where the truth […]

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  • Poetry

    Such torment   I found out yesterday that Michelangelo was a poet. You would think that humiliating centuries of painters and sculptors would be enough for him but some people are never satisfied. His first known painting, The Torment of Saint Anthony, is on display at the Metropolitan Museum through February 12. I found out […]

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  • Utopia For Realists

    It is almost impossible to believe this in the age of Trump but human society, in spite of glaring setbacks, is getting better. There is a way forward that seems the logical culmination of centuries of progress toward freedom, equality, and enlightenment. Rutger Bregman’s engaging book Utopia For Realists is as a good roadmap as […]

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  • Due Date

    A woman I know is coming up to her due date. What wonders her baby will witness and possibly unleash. It takes me back to the dawning of my own parenthood all those years ago. So many mysteries solved even as new ones hatched and proliferated faster than I could catch up with them. I […]

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