Gerald Murnane, The Plains

The Plains by Gerald Murnane My rating: 3 of 5 stars Gerald Murnane is in vogue.¬†Every few years, it seems, a new writer or handful of writers is coronated in the book reviews, little magazines, and literary coteries of the English-speaking world as a monarch of world literature. So far this century, we've had W.… Continue reading Gerald Murnane, The Plains

In Defense of Pevear and Volokhonsky

Janet Malcolm contributes the latest polemic against Richard Pevear and Linda Volokhonsky (hereafter P&V), the famed husband-and-wife translators of the Russian classics, whose preeminence in their field is now being challenged by a number of critics. I have read the previous arguments with interest (for instance, by Gary Saul Morson and Helen Andrews), but they… Continue reading In Defense of Pevear and Volokhonsky

George Steiner, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism

Tolstoy or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism by George Steiner My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is a superb book. It abounds in literary-historical insight; it goes to the heart of these authors' achievements. The title is a bit misleading in that it's not really about deciding whether Tolstoy or Dostoevsky is… Continue reading George Steiner, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism