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