vogel-chagall_ladder

Line of Sight: Lineage as Vision

They wrote as women write, not as men, writes Virginia Woolf of Jane Austin and Emily Brontë in 1928. What does it mean to write as a woman? Is it…

baker

Missing the Mark: Nell Zink’s Racial Fluidity

When Jess Row’s “White Flights” was published in Boston Review in 2013, nobody in the American literary world, except perhaps Jonathan Franzen, had heard of Nell Zink, an American writer…

strychar-rothko

A Lot from a Little: Demystifying the Aphoristic Poem

“Tulip” by Mark Rothko Aphoristic poems are a verbal sleight of hand: minute, almost indecipherable movements generating outsized effects. In his paper, “Aptness and Truth in Verbal Metaphor,” David Hills writes…

6360518

For whom the trumpet sounds: on Laura Kasischke’s The Infinitesimals

“They are neither finite quantities nor quantities infinitely small, nor yet nothing. May we not call them the ghosts of departed quantities?” This epigraph from George Berkeley’s The Analyst primes…

la-ca-jc-vivian-gornick-20150510

A heap of unidentifiable shards: on Vivian Gornick’s The Odd Woman and the City

It used to be that we offered one another the best versions of ourselves. Now we do our best to give the worst. I’m supremely flawed, we all recite in…

Dickinson

Truth and Beauty share a tomb: reflecting on 6 classic poems by women

1. “The Author To Her Book” by Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain, Who after birth didst by my side remain, Till snatched from thence by…

Judith-Barrington1

The independent seat: on Judith Barrington’s The Conversation

An “independent seat” is a rarely achieved height of equestrian skill, in which mechanical command and response are transformed into a fluid conversation between the bodies of horse and rider. It is…

DSCN3136

The last Americans in Palmyra

The ruins of Palmyra. “All the sacred Mysteries of Asia, with their strident music, served now to add to this voluptuous unrest … I felt only disgust and abhorrence for all…

4406382589_b0c186d013_b

You Run, Darling: Mark Doty’s Deep Lane

Mark Doty is tenacious in his in his examination of life and endlessly fussy about his use of words. He makes sure to convey his meaning, whether in the criticism…

freaks

Family; or, What It Means to Be a Freak

In Tod Browning’s 1932 film, Freaks, Hans, a sideshow dwarf, falls in love with the beautiful trapeze artist Cleopatra, who marries him for his money and plots to poison him…

« First‹ Previous456789101112Next ›Last »