"When you think about something, when you remember something, it’s never linear, it’s kaleidoscopic. You remember someone and then another story comes." Négar Djavadi
Posts tagged "essays"
The solid case for ambiguity

The solid case for ambiguity

At a moment of writers’ block, “the United Kingdom came to my rescue,” declares Javier Cercas in The Blind Spot: An Essay on the Novel, that is based on his Weidenfeld Lectures at Oxford in May 2015. The United Kingdom is in fact The Telegraph, or to be precise, an article by Umberto Eco, quoting...
Against poets

Against poets

At twenty years old they already have some important experiences behind them: they’ve published poems in journals and anthologies, taken part in workshops, written articles for school yearbooks, and maybe they have granted one or two premature interviews. They already have their first books ready, and they’re about to come out from emerging publishing houses....
Through the valley of shades

Through the valley of shades

In the Dark Room, originally published in 2005, is a meditation on mourning and an excavation of memory. It was also Brian Dillon’s first book, and we might see it as the prelude to his subsequent essays on photography and hypochondria, artists and ruins, essayists and what he calls ‘essayism’. How, Dillon asks, does memory...
Gall and barefaced daring

Gall and barefaced daring

I was well into my forties when I came upon Barbara Baynton’s story ‘The Chosen Vessel’, and I have never got over it. It is shocking, and dreadful: a lone woman huddles with a tiny baby in an undefendable bush house at night, while a tramp armed with a knife slinks around it in the...
A total portrait of the artist as an absence

A total portrait of the artist as an absence

Elena Ferrante is traditional in the most radical, boundary-dissolving ways; conventional with subversive fervour and delicately powerful talent. In Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey she proves above all the invincible strength of her authorial translucence, the rock-solid presence of her so-called anonymity, which she invariably corrects as being a determined gesture of absence. The word frantumaglia,...
Italo Calvino's granular eye

Italo Calvino’s granular eye

Collection of Sand was published in Italian as Collezione di sabbia in October 1984. It was the last organic volume of new work put together by Italo Calvino in his lifetime (the only book to appear after it and before the author’s death in 1985 was the final anthology of cosmicomic stories which largely reproduced...