Tagged: great writing

A Catalogue of The Further Suns

An imaginary “precis of reports compiled by the preliminary survey expeditions,” F.J. Bergmann’s “A Catalogue of the Further Suns” is the most memorable book we’ve read in years. It’s magic, a work of inspired genius, and the less we attempt to describe this singular creation, the better it becomes. Each “report” is a brief prose-poem...

Sam Lipsyte

Lovable losers. Pathetic bumblers. Lost souls who haven’t yet given up, even when abdication looks like the best move. These are the inhabitants of Sam Lipsyte’s comic imagination. To say the novelist and short-story author is funny would be obvious and true, but a disservice to his talent. Lipsyte is a brilliant prose stylist who exhibits...

Paris on the Page

For writers serious and otherwise, Paris has always been a muse, the aesthetically inspiring place-feeling-energy that sends men and women of letters to their journal (or typewriter or, more likely these days, their keypad). We all have something to say about the world’s most beautfiul city — or at least we feel as though we...

Great Writing

Relatives sometimes discover a book that brings them so much enjoyment that they want to share the experience with everyone they meet. That’s cool. Unfortunately for me, most of the books they like, despite glowing accolades from literary critics such as Oprah Winfrey’s intern and the editors at Vogue, are painfully difficult to read, since I...

In Praise of Lewis Lapham

The venerable editor of Harper’s magazine, Lewis Lapham, recently announced his semi-retirement. The most alarming consequence of this decision is that he plans on writing his monthly “Notebook” essay only six times a year. This is like saying you will henceforth be limited to every other breath of air. Lapham’s essays aren’t merely good reading....

Moderation in All Things

The goldfinches that inhabit the trees in my back yard are some of the plumpest birds I’ve seen in the wild. Unlike Antarctic emperor penguins, these little creatures aren’t storing up enough belly fat to make it through a winter-long trek across glacial desolation. They live in Hollywood, and they’re just fat. It’s probably my...

Urban Density

If one requires further evidence that we human beings are, at the end of the day, animals — or beasts, or savages in clothes, or however one prefers his locution –turn to our planet’s major cities. (One can look also to our obvious obsession with mating and eating, also.) There, in our teeming metropolises, we...