Tag Archives: literary criticism

Sparring With Blushes

“My English is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.” (Edward Gibbon) In the Middle Ages, several women poets of Arab Spain (al-Andalus) were known for their erotic and satiric verses composed with … Continue reading

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‘Cry of Pain’

Housman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young” ruefully ironizes over a lad clever enough to “slip betimes away / From fields where glory does not stay.” Novelists, though, get more mileage out of superannuated jocks — Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom, Malamud’s Roy … Continue reading

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“That Was Now, This Is Then”

The very title of Vijay Sheshadri’s volume of poems, reviewed by David Orr, has the jewel-beam of poetic crystal to it. I keep rolling it on my tongue, as if it makes some kind of sense of the moment. Orr’s … Continue reading

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Pithy Gristle

David Orr reviews Vijay Sheshadri’s volume of poems “That Was Now, This Is Then” (Graywolf Press). Reviewers who are poets are especially equipped with spicy pronouncements. Poetry has a long, proud history of acting as if readers don’t exist. Often … Continue reading

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A. O. Scott on Sontag

The credit on this piece says “A.O. Scott is a chief film critic at The Times and the author of ‘Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth.’” I read him frequently. (Strictly as a … Continue reading

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Exactingly Delighted

Scholar and literary critic Harold Bloom has died at the age of 89. Dwight Garner hits memorable notes in his tribute to Bloom, who in one of over 40 books launched an attack “from a crenelated embankment” on critics and … Continue reading

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