Recently I bought a copy of The Portable Dorothy Parker (Penguin Books, 1973) and am now reveling in her genius and wit. For those unfamiliar with Parker (1893-1967), she was a writer and columnist whose book reviews frequently appeared in The New Yorker (1927-1933) and Esquire (1957-1962). In the few reviews I've written, I often feel compelled to be … Continue reading On women “mother-naked before long mirrors”: Dorothy Parker’s list of literary cliches to avoid
As part of my continuing research into the diary as a genre of literature, I came across the following from Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac, 1947-1954 (2006). ... "This famous river port still has the old 1870 brick along the waterfront ... now the scene of great fruit and wholesale markets, just as in Kansas City near the downhill Missouri shore. St. Paul is smaller and older and more rickety than Minneapolis, but there is a depressing Pittsburgh-like sootiness about it ... even in joyous snowy winter. Minneapolis is a sprawling dark city shooting off white communities across the montonous flats. The only soulful beauty here is rendered by the Mississippi and also by a hopeless hint of Mille Lacs and the Rainy River country to the North. The people are eastern (of course it's called 'middlewestern') city people; and their corresponding look, talk & absorptions. Blame it on me; I hate almost everything. I would have liked to see Duluth merely because of Sinclair Lewis and Lake Superior."
I was reading the blog of the New York Times Review of Books and came across a particularly interesting article about author and translator Bill Porter ("Finding Zen and Book Contracts in Beijing"). In it the writer talks about Porter's growing popularity in China given not only the burgeoning middle class that is able to … Continue reading Reading “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Matsuo Basho