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Category: books

We Shall Not Cease from Exploration

0 Comments April 22, 2013

I love, love, love T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets (previously). The words, “We shall not cease from exploration” give me goosebumps every time I read them. How does one take those words to heart, to take a visceral experience and illuminate the everyday tedium with it? To just not cease from exploration? Can it be that […]

just read

0 Comments April 9, 2013

“The truth is, everyone likes to look down on someone. If your favorites are all avant-garde writers who throw in Sanskrit and German, you can look down on everyone. If your favorites are all Oprah Book Club books, you can at least look down on mystery readers. Mystery readers have sci-fi readers. Sci-fi can look […]

Shoe Event Horizon

0 Comments December 31, 2012

Many years ago this was a thriving, happy planet – people, cities, shops, a normal world. Except that on the high streets of these cities there were slightly more shoe shops than one might have thought necessary. And slowly, insidiously, the number of the shoe shops were increasing. It’s a well-known economic phenomenon but tragic […]

my middle west

0 Comments November 30, 2012

That’s my Middle West—not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth, and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow. –F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby  

Italo Calvino on the Classics

0 Comments July 9, 2012

Italo Calvino is a favorite of mine; here’s his definition of what makes a book a “classic,” from Why Read the Classics? The classics are the books of which we usually hear people say, “I am rereading . . . ” and never “I am reading . . . “ We use the words “classics” […]

Deeply Shallow

0 Comments February 3, 2012

A few days ago, I finally finished Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. The fact that it took me so long to read a book about typewriters, the internet, psychology, and other things I love probably proves Carr’s point better than anything I can write here. So here are […]

Of fear, intuitions, and possibilities

0 Comments March 26, 2011

It started, as many things do, with Metafilter. Someone posted a link to a story which quickly engaged me (at one of those thesis-work moments during which I want nothing more than to be distracted), about a blogger facing down her stalker. It was a gripping and well-written story–I read every part in one sitting. […]

Cambridge ladies, furnished souls

0 Comments March 8, 2010

For all the Russian literature I’ve studied, and the amount of time I devote to Blok, my strongest emotional attachments are to American poets (and the occasional Briton). I know I’ve posted plenty of Roethke here in the past, and truth be told, I should have done an English master’s and written about him. Would […]

On writing

0 Comments December 28, 2009

Hey kids, I’m writing again. Really writing. Funny how a little anxiety and sadness send me scurrying back to hide under notebooks. Well, not really funny. Or surprising. Anyway, most of what I’m working on you can’t read just yet (still in research stages of… a screenplay!) or will never want to (thesis). Aside: Why […]

Translator’s Notes to “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino, excerpts of which I translated into Russian.

0 Comments May 27, 2009

  (This was a class project, but I thought I’d share.) Translator’s notes It is often said that every translation is an interpretation.What is more, I often find that attempting translation leads me to better interpretation, and vice versa. The mind, when not in translation mode, has a tendency to skim over less-understood words, phrases, […]