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Hamsun’s Mysteries ?>

Hamsun’s Mysteries

Alexis Wingate — The Mystery of Mysteries To dissect Knut Hamsun’s Mysteries as one would an ordinary novel is impossible. This is a book in which nothing is quite as it seems to be, and the more closely the reader examines it or tries to make sense of it, the more inexplicable it becomes. At the core of the story is Johan Nagel, easily one of the most enigmatic characters in literary history. His arrival in a small Norwegian town…

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George Spencer’s The Guesting Rose ?>

George Spencer’s The Guesting Rose

A Line from Barbara Guest’s Roses That air in life is important but may be less so in the arts interests me. But we are 60% water and worth $28.49 in bone, fat and chemicals so should we focus more on water and $’s and less on air. But you may respond the atmosphere that encases us is all air but this is not completely true since there is pollution and those little filaments we see when light shafts float…

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Robert Mueller: Barbara Guest and Jill Magi ?>

Robert Mueller: Barbara Guest and Jill Magi

Barbara Guest, Now Jill Magi in brevi by Robert Mueller   Shearsman Books, which seems to specialize in poets on their way, recently brought out a fine collection of poetry by Jill Magi, her second full volume, titled Torchwood. This collection is assembled uncharacteristically, even for a time when in poetry books great attention is paid to the presentation. For Magi, it started with the patchwork of historical and personal documentation of her earlier volume Threads (Futurepoem, 2007), and is…

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Robert Mueller: Zamyatin’s Garden ?>

Robert Mueller: Zamyatin’s Garden

by Robert Mueller   Reading Evgeny Zamyatin’s A Godforsaken Hole (Na kulichkakh, 1914), what is the novel like? First of all, it is very funny. And familiar. And yet the strange thing is that those other novels and texts that it can remind you of would seem to come after; and it would not be any particular writer or book, but merely the feeling of its being so familiar. What is funny about this book?  Here we feel in Walker…

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Robert Mueller: Barbara Guest, West and East ?>

Robert Mueller: Barbara Guest, West and East

The Silent Confucius, The Confetti Trees, Hollywood, Who Else but Barbara Guest by Robert Mueller   Barbara Guest’s books are wonderful because of how they come to us with their bountiful co-valencies and layering.  The Confetti Trees, a series of short-short stories or quasi-filmmaking anecdotes that qualify as prose poems (Sun & Moon, 1999), has this implicating character, so that when it takes its measure in the rich play of glitter and artifice that are Hollywood, one of its expounding…

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Rebecca Parton: To Catch a Phony ?>

Rebecca Parton: To Catch a Phony

The World of Holden Caulfield: Revisiting The Catcher in the Rye      I read J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye in 1970 as a teenage girl with a disaffected outlook on the world very similar to the narrator and main character, Holden Caulfield. I recall thinking it was a wonderful book I could relate to on many levels: as a child of the 60s, I shared Holden’s disdain for pretentiousness, discourtesy, hypocrisy, regimentation, and social climbing. I longed desperately…

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David Haan: To Assume a Pleasing Shape ?>

David Haan: To Assume a Pleasing Shape

Satire is a lesson, parody is a game. — Nabokov I have always found poetry difficult, and for that reason interesting. I’m no poet (what little talent I may have is concentrated in the epigram): what verse I’ve perpetrated has been in the service of better understanding what it is, how it’s put together, and so often falls into the category of imitation, whose sincerest form is parody. These exercises for the left-handed have helped me to get a better…

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