Guide A Plea For Eros

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A Plea for Eros : Essays

Hustvedt uses this as a jump-off to her central thesis, her plea for eros. This is my call for eros, a plea that we not forget ambiguity and mystery, that in matters of the heart we acknowledge an abiding uncertainty. I never felt cheated of details, or bogged down by them.

Is the wounded self the writing self? Perhaps that is more accurate.

A Plea for Eros: Essays |

The wound is static, a given. The writing self is multiple and elastic, and it circles the wound. Over time, I have become more aware of the fact that I must try not to cover that speechless, hurt love, that I must fight my dread of the mess and violence that are also there. I have to write the fear. The writing self is restless and searching, and it listens for voices.

Where do they come from, these chatterers who talk to me before I fall asleep? My characters. I am making them and not making them, like people in my dreams.

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They discuss, fight, laugh, yell, and weep. I was very young when I first heard the story of the exorcism Jesus performs on a possessed man. When Jesus talks to the demon inside the man and asks for his name, the words he cries out both scared and thrilled me. And I, for one, am glad that she let me in that secret place. Whilst her […]. Novelist Hustvedt What I Loved is most interesting when she starts with her body rather than her head—but since even her memories have a physicality that gives them substance, this allows her great scope.

Her clear, elegant writing is particularly effective in the opening essay, which movingly evokes a variety of formative experiences, including the echoes of Norway in her family. Less effective are her literary essays: while a discussion of Gatsby provides subtle analysis with a light touch, essays on James and Dickens may be rough going for readers without significant academic training and a deep familiarity with the authors.

Despite these few disappointments, readers will find both emotional and intellectual resonance in Hustvedt's deeply personal essays. Agent, Amanda Urban. The short story is not our preferred form but D'Ambrosio's eight brilliant stories are almost enough to convert us. Defy the conventional wisdom that short story collections don't sell and treat yourself to this marvel. We're especially partial, naturally, to "Screenwriter". This slim, witty memoir follows Bouillier through the party from hell, and is a case study in Gallic self-abasement.

But fear not — just when it seems that all is, indeed, random and pointless and there is no Deeper Significance, salvation arrives in the unlikely form of Virginia Woolf, and the tale ends on a note of unforced optimism. Ticknor by Sheila Heti When George Ticknor's Life of William Hickling Prescott was published in , it received rapturous notices, and reviewers were quick to point out that the long-standing friendship between Prescott and Ticknor made the latter an ideal Boswell. Sheila Heti has pulled this obscure leaf from the literary archives and fashioned a mordantly funny anti-history; a pungent and hilarious study of bitterness and promise unfulfilled.

As a fretful Ticknor navigates his way through the rain-soaked streets of Boston to Prescott's house "But I am not a late man.

Review: A Plea For Eros

I hate to be late. Unlike the real-life Ticknor, this one is an embittered also-ran, full of plans and intentions never realized, always alive to the fashionable whispers behind his back. Heti seamlessly inhabits Ticknor's fussy 19th-century diction with a feat of virtuoso ventriloquism that puts one in mind of The Remains of the Day.

Heti's Ticknor would be insufferable if he weren't so funny, and in the end, the black humor brings a leavening poignancy to this brief tale. But don't let the size fool you — this page first novel is small but scarcely slight; it is as dense and textured as a truffle. Lifted out of the context of some of the magazine's worst twee excesses, the interviews stand admirably on their own as largely thoughtful dialogues on craft. A handful of interviewers seem more interested in themselves than in their subjects but in the main this collection will prove irresistible to writers of any stripe - struggling or established - and to readers seeking a window into the creative process.

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In The Sea , we find Banville in transition, moving from the icy, restrained narrators of The Untouchable, Eclipse and Shroud toward warmer climes. Max Morden has returned to the vacation spot of his youth as he grieves the death of his wife. Remembering his first, fatal love, Morden works to reconcile himself to his loss.

Banville's trademark linguistic virtuosity is everpresent but some of the chilly control is relinquished and Max mourns and rages in ways that mark a new direction for Banville - and there's at least one great twist which you'll never see coming. Given the politicized nature of the British literary scene, Banville's shot at the prize might be hobbled by his controversial McEwan review but we're rooting for our longtime favorite to go all the way at last. In this lovely, elliptical, melancholy "fictional memoir," Berger traverses European cities from Libson to Geneva to Islington, conversing with shades from his past — He encounters his dead mother on a Lisbon tram, a beloved mentor in a Krakow market.

Along the way, we're treated to marvelous and occasionally heart-rending glimpses of an extraordinary life, a lyrical elegy to the 20th century from a man who - in his eighth decade - remains committed to his political beliefs and almost childlike in his openness to people, places and experiences. There's no conventional narrative here, and those seeking plot are advised to look elsewhere.

But Here is Where We Meet offers a wise, moving and poetic look at the life of an artist traversing the European century from a novelist whose talent remains undimmed in his twilight years. SECOND LOOK The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop.

Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative — there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page.

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Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at pages, a book you won't want to — or be able to — rush through.

No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid — an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. Subscribe to this blog's feed. Subscribe in a reader.