Against Intellectual Biblioclasm

[This is an expansion of a brief response I posted yesterday to Tumblr in reply to user macrolit, who, upon being denounced for sharing a quote from Simone de Beauvoir even though she and Jean-Paul Sartre seem to have sexually exploited young women, wondered: I’ve already mentioned de Beauvoir and Sartre, but what about William… Continue reading Against Intellectual Biblioclasm

E. M. Forster, Maurice

Maurice by E.M. Forster My rating: 4 of 5 stars Maurice is E. M. Forster's fifth novel, written in 1913-14, following Howards End. Due to its content, however, Forster suppressed it until after his death; though it circulated privately in Forster's literary circles, it was not published until 1971. A "Terminal Note" reveals Forster's intention… Continue reading E. M. Forster, Maurice

César Aira, Ema, the Captive

Ema, the Captive by César Aira My rating: 4 of 5 stars Reading and rereading Wilde over the years, I note a fact that his panegyrists seem not even to have suspected: the elementary and demonstrable fact that Wilde is nearly always right. —Jorge Luis Borges, "On Oscar Wilde" (trans. Esther Allen) Art never expresses… Continue reading César Aira, Ema, the Captive

An Artist of the Floating World: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Aestheticism

Kazuo Ishiguro's second novel, An Artist of the Floating World (1986), is narrated retrospectively, from the post-war vantage of 1948-50, by the painter, Masuji Ono. Ono’s ambition caused him first to leave the commercial and auto-exoticizing “art for export” firm of Takeda for the art-for-art’s-sake milieu of Moriyama, which focuses on the ephemerally sensual “floating… Continue reading An Artist of the Floating World: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Aestheticism