Patricia Hampl on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Essays from the Edge

Hampl explores the lesser known autobiographical essays of the novelist @ The American Scholar. The first readers to comment on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Crack-Up” essays made no pretense to literary criticism. They just wanted to dish—and diss. The dismay of old or former or soon-to-be-former friends came at Fitzgerald fast and furious, along with smack-downs… Read more »

We have had to quarrel with our time

  Andrew Taggart on the importance of reflection in tough times @ Spike. This morning I awoke in a wistful mood. The birdsong coming through my bedroom window reminded me of something softer and higher but also, and less faintly, of something long absent. When I’m feeling wistful, my mind gets older and, without my… Read more »

The émigré dream

Paul Wilson wonders if certain nightmares could be communal @ Eighteen Bridges. In the nineteen-eighties I started having recurring nightmares. The nightmare part wasn’t so unusual: like many people, I’d had my fair share of dreams about being swept away by rogue waves, or driving cars that couldn’t make it up steep hills, or flying… Read more »

Writing about the real Russia – whatever that is

Kseniya Melnik considers the homeland of her imagination @ Granta. Never return to the places where you’ve been happy, my father always said.Ever since I started writing fiction, I’ve crafted not-always-happy stories about the country of my overwhelmingly happy childhood. It was no Utopia , of course, especially in the economic scramble after the fall… Read more »

An intimate new friend in the house of books

  Keri Walsh remembers the influence of Adrienne Monnier on the life of literary Paris @ Brick. Sylvia Beach said that she had three loves: Shakespeare and Company, James Joyce, and Adrienne Monnier. For mysterious reasons—perhaps because she wrote in French, perhaps because in the age of high modernism she preserved the habits and demeanour… Read more »