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Judy Kravis
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Reading Sven Birkerts up at the pond on the best day for about half a year, I say yes all the time, I know all this and what pleasure to see it written, to pause as each yes bubbles up and put a light pencil mark in the margin at a sentence that I want to r...
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The first three paragraphs of my copy of 'The Celestial Omnibus' by E.M. Forster have pencil brackets around them. This was a passage for translation I chose circa 1978, trying for completeness in the classroom as elsewhere, I willed the students to sense t...
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Reading Marcel Proust On Reading in french or english on a cold April afternoon, I find the person who first read this, Marcel or me, extending out into the back country in the most sad, luxuriant way. Here is young Marcel under a hedge of trimmed hawthorn ...
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Where do you want to go today? Prague under Stalin, steelworks and street scenes, ushers and stonemasons, dairymen and judges, people who form your world, and, simultaneously, undermine it. Bohumil Hrabal, you have to love him for his name, the soft burr of...
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My fingers have learned to write Krasznahorkai's name by now; they do not hesitate around all those consonants in the unknown rhythm of Hungarian. After reading Krasznahorkai for several weeks I am at one with the Europa abyss, the total stalling of communi...
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Why do some men writers write exhaustively, and sometimes exhaustingly, each chapter its own sentence into which we burrow, like László Kraznahorkai, whose War and War I have experienced as a kind of basso continuo beneath the last couple of weeks, mostly i...
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'I am nourishing a creature' wrote Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Shelley, who nourished in her turn another, nameless, unnamed, unnameable creature, male, larger than life, like Byron silhouetted against mountain peaks, but vulnerable. What do any do ...
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War and War by Laszlo Kraznahorkai has settled its sentences around the last week or so. I have read a sentence before sleep and then slept into it. One reviewer said he (probably) had never got to know a character as well as the narrator of this novel. Peo...
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A chance visit to St Gobnait's shrine revealed why I have felt uneasy reading Willa Cather's My Ántonia . We happened on St Gobnait in Ballyvourney, County Cork, on the eve of her day, February 11th. Graves were being tidied, lurid primulas planted (with th...
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Beckett's How it is reads quiet after a performance of Part I by the Gare St Lazare the other night. I hurry along, looking for their performance on the page. There are some glorious moments of mental exercise. Despair too strong a word. Of course. As well ...
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