literature

the archivist May 8, 2013

…Among those “enemies” prosecuted as a parasite was Joseph Brodsky, a young poet and future recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. At that time, he was considered among “the most politically unreliable” people, because he  “was part of a circle of anti-Soviet individuals” and “wrote poems of a decadent and even hostile nature” instead of engaging in activities that […]

the archivist 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 […]

the archivist January 14, 2013

There’s a Peanuts cartoon (wish I could find it), in which Charlie Brown says, “I’ve watched this movie 29 times, and Shane never comes back.” I feel the exact same way about Prince Andrey Bolkonsky in War and Peace. Recently, I did a freelance project (a Cliff Notes type thing) for W&P, and so I […]

the archivist 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” […]