Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor My rating: 4 of 5 stars It's considered an absolute necessity these days for writers to have compassion. Compassion is a word that sounds good in anybody's mouth and which no book jacket can do without. It is a quality which no one can put his finger on in any … Continue reading Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

Robert Pogue Harrison, Juvenescence

Juvenescence: A Cultural History of Our Age by Robert Pogue Harrison My rating: 5 of 5 stars Valor consists in the power of self-recovery, so that a man cannot have his flank turned, cannot be out-generalled, but put him where you will, he stands. This can only be by his preferring truth to his past … Continue reading Robert Pogue Harrison, Juvenescence

Ozick, Said, Bloom: Religion, Politics, Literature

{This is a long appendix to my review of Cynthia Ozick’s Heir to the Glimmering World. It will not make much sense unless you read that first.} 1. Ozick Against Revolution There is a paradox here in reading Jane Austen which I have been impressed by but can in no way resolve. All the evidence says … Continue reading Ozick, Said, Bloom: Religion, Politics, Literature

James Wood, David Mitchell, and the Metaphysics and Morality of the Novel

While I enjoyed number9dream, Cloud Atlas, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, I haven't read David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks, and I don't know that I will.  The high fantasy trope of immemorially-warring clans who represent good and evil may secretly structure most political commentary today, but the peculiar virtue of literature is … Continue reading James Wood, David Mitchell, and the Metaphysics and Morality of the Novel