June Journal 2019

Hanna Krall: “All my books are about how very good human beings can be, and about how very abd they can be—something we are constantly discovering over and over again.” Chasing the King of Hearts,…

Two Books I Finished Reading Today

A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night: A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life [A commentary on Shantideva’s great manual], by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We Were in Auschwitz / 6643…

Some Works Are Greater Than Others

Edward W. Said, Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews Edited and with an Introduction by Gauri ViswanathanPantheon Books, 2001 Two writers who are well known for their championing of the literary canon are Harold Bloom and George…

A Letter from 2005

April 6, 2005 Dear Andrew, I recently finished a small book by Edward Said, Humanism and Democratic Criticism, and it made me think of many conversations we’ve had over the past couple of years. So…

A Paradise for Perusers

I have given away four copies of James Mustich’s chef d’oeuvre, 1,000 Books to Read before You Die: A Life-Changing List, before I bought and kept one for myself. I became acquainted with Mr. Mustich…

Reading/743

Both M. and Akhmatova had the astonishing ability of somehow bridging time and space when they read the work of dead poets. By its very nature, such reading is usually anachronistic, but with them it…

Reading in Prison

1. At one-hour intervals the night guards paced past every room. Each time I heard the approaching footsteps, I jumped into bed and feigned sleep. And as soon as the guard passed, I got back…