James Joyce and the wild heart of life

There are things we don’t know and things we will never know. But as long as we live, we keep trying to figure them out. Great writers are one of the sources we turn to for answers or, failing that, insight. Here is James Joyce giving his insight into the fall, and the temptation precedingContinue reading “James Joyce and the wild heart of life”

James Joyce and Young Love

James Joyce is one of the greatest writers who ever lived. His novels and short stories, as well as his life, continue to fascinate more than 70 years after his death. Like all good Irishmen the tales of his life are clouded by legend.  The groundbreaking psychologist Carl Jung, who was treating Joyce’s daughter LuciaContinue reading “James Joyce and Young Love”

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 herContinue reading “Giovanni’s Room – Sex”

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 truthContinue reading “Giovanni’s Room – Paris”

Henry James, Student of Humanity

“Mr. Henry James is the historian of fine consciences.” Joseph Conrad No writer ever inhabited the minds of his characters with more depth than Henry James. He possessed a unique ability to explore a character’s shortcomings with as much insight as he might with another’s dignity: What they amounted to was an exquisite taunt ofContinue reading “Henry James, Student of Humanity”