The Image of Yourself You Always Wanted to See

The fantasy of an unlived life, a life we imagine for ourselves but never actually experienced, was something Sandie Friedman explored in her essay Warhol’s Last Starlet. But what of the double life we do create for ourselves, the digital personas that we craft with ever more precision?  Here, Rosa Inocencia Smith finds in Dostoevsky’s… Read more »

Why are Writers Compelled to Write?

In meditating on the writing life, Scott Esposito explores the power of process in any creative effort. “One morning not too long ago I spent a restful hour of more or less genuine solitude with Rothko’s Seagram murals in a small room in the Tate Modern galleries in London. The room is dimly lit, as… Read more »

Thomas Heise on Fitzgerald’s Depression

Heise reflects on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s failures @ Berfrois. After forty, all life is a matter of saving face. For those whose successes have run out early, the years are measured less by the decreasing increments of honors achieved, than by the humiliations staved off and the reversals slowed. Among our canonical twentieth-century writers, none… Read more »

Geoff Dyer: Ship Write

Dyer contemplates Conrad’s Heart of Darkness while sitting on a boat in the Thames @ Guernica. Like Death in Venice or The Great Gatsby, Heart of Darkness is not just a book but a modern myth—everyone has read it, even if they have not done so personally. The actual book is far stranger than accounts of… Read more »

F.S.J. Ledgister on Fortunate Travelers

Ledgister considers the haunting histories of travel writing in the West Indies @ The Caribbean Review of Books. Good travel writing illuminates the places about which it is written — it is history, geography, culture, and politics in a much neater package than any textbook or classroom presentation could hope to achieve. Bad travel writing,… Read more »