W. G. Sebald, After Nature

After Nature by W.G. Sebald My rating: 4 of 5 stars Given my mild ambivalence about Sebald, I thought I would make this small book, the author's first, my next destination on the gray-toned walking tour of European ruin that is the Sebaldian oeuvre. I think of Sebald's gift as essentially lyric, in the sense … Continue reading W. G. Sebald, After Nature

On the Survival of Writers’ Reputations

Ted Gioia, introducing his reconsideration of John Fowles: Here’s the truest test. Wait until ten years after their death, and see if anyone still talks about their books. You need a decade for the hype to dissipate, for the eulogies to fade from readers’ memories. Class reading lists have now been updated. The old book … Continue reading On the Survival of Writers’ Reputations

Reactionary, Revolutionary, Aesthete?

W. H. Auden, qtd. by Nina Martyris: A satisfactory human life, individually or collectively, is possible only if proper respect is paid to all three worlds [Work, Laughter, Prayer]. Without Prayer and Work, the Carnival laughter turns ugly, the comic obscenities grubby and pornographic, the mock aggression into real hatred and cruelty. (The hippies, it … Continue reading Reactionary, Revolutionary, Aesthete?