nonfiction: results 1–24 of 46
Dad's glasses are on a Newsweek on the coffee table. Where my feet go when I am visiting. He is somewhere behind the bedroom door. My mother is on the couch. The tomatoes are all sliced. Such a strange displacement. I am four again.
She doesn't know what to do. She never knows what to do. I put my arm around her because she is amazing. I tell her that. Right now, I'm telling her that. But then, I believe we're beautiful when we're vulnerable. And her cheekbones have softened with tears…
Bryan Hurt: The historian and literary critic Hayden White has said that all historical narrative (biographies, journals, chronicles, etc.) are forms of fiction, no more or less so than their literary counterparts. For you (a) what are the reasons for, and advantages of, exploring the past through the form of the novel? And (b) why use the past (i.e. "actual people") at all?
T.C. Boyle: I agree most emphatically with Mr. White. Which is part of the fun I'm having with The Women and other historical narratives I've pursued. In the present case, we have actual people doing actual things as reported in newspaper and biographical accounts, but their actions are filtered through the recollections of the book's editor, Tadashi Sato, who responds in footnotes to the rather odd text he's received in translation and amplification from his grandson-in-law, the unpublished Irish-American novelist, Seamus O'Flaherty. Where, one wonders, does the truth reside? Not simply the truth of fiction, but the truth of history.
Man is thus metamorphosed into a thing, into many things. The planter, who is Man sent out into the field to gather food, is seldom cheered by any idea of the true dignity of his ministry. He sees his bushel and his cart, and nothing beyond, and sinks into the farmer, instead of Man on the farm. The tradesman scarcely ever gives an ideal worth to his work, but is ridden by the routine of his craft, and the soul is subject to dollars. The priest becomes a form; the attorney, a statute-book; the mechanic, a machine; the sailor, a rope of a ship.
In this distribution of functions, the scholar is the delegated intellect. In the right state, he is, Man Thinking. In the degenerate state, when the victim of society, he tends to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other men's thinking.
Other mothers swim in the pool with their children, many of the mothers older. The sun puts a glisten on the ends of their hair. Their bodies underwater look unearthly. The woman in the lane next to me has wide shoulders like my grandmother.
We wrap our children in towels the same way: so that their bodies are swallowed warm with them. We hector them about sunscreen.
When I swim and I am entirely alone with my thoughts, my children only pass through my mind as topics.
I think today when my daughter and son lay together on the bed sleeping. His lanky body next to her curve. Is that not a poem?
These are ten of my favorite poems from 42opus in 2007…
I set out to make a list of five, but found choosing among the nineteen stories more difficult than I had anticipated. I whittled the list to seven, then, to justify my failure to choose, slipped a cheap play off the year into the title.
The writers included in this month may not have yet been published elsewhere but their writing shows the same promise as any of the other writers we publish. The same attention to craft, to character. To line, and to voice. But I also found in these works a sincerity, an earnestness even, that extended through the brasher, wilder styles of chaotic energy just as into the more conservative voices. This sincerity seemed to me proof that these poems and stories were not so much created to be poems and stories but to be vehicles for emotion and meaning.
Any reader who believes the suburbs to be a cultural and spiritual wasteland will have their prejudices confirmed. And yet, Cusk's great talent as a writer is to complicate these tired notions and make them fresh and engaging. Her Desperate Housewives are not stereotypes, but unique and sympathetic characters. Cusk is masterful at capturing the ordinary moments of family life.
The etching on the stall door said "I want to suck your kneecap!!"
There were exclamation points behind kneecap. The writing was in drunken cursive or 5th-grader cursive or drunken 5th-grader cursive. It was difficult to decipher.
I looked down at my knees, bent and peaking out of my khaki shorts. They were grubby and the skin was peeling in half-moon shapes.
Fulfilling the promise of his early work, Angel's new book is characterized by deep consciousness, the rigors of his syntax anchoring his voice. His new poems exemplify what is true of the rest of his work collected here as he summons Self, human presence, from the collision of worldly details. If we exist in the noise of body, and commerce, and community, Angel's work captures sublimated landscapes of deep feeling and spiritual incident.
I can say honestly that Kate Moss and I have never been friends. Even when young, vulnerable, and with loads of cultural literacy while perusing slinky images splayed in Vogue and Cosmo, I simply couldn't have picked Kate Moss from a line-up. I'm not even sure I'd want to, even today. And yet Unbound & Branded has given me a different Kate Moss. A Kate Moss who can "tear down the wall," "peel back the universe," "spend your whole paycheck on yourself," and even, "tell the boss / to fuck off."
A poet must try and make sense of the enormity of loss that steeps our life with difficult meaning. The great achievement of Fritz Goldberg's text is that grief remains unanswerable and alluring… Where we might expect heavy-handedness and painful confessionalism, Fritz Goldberg's poems are buoyant, and like the title of her collection, filled with linguistic, frolicsome concentration.
We are revealed in its language and Ríos's "theater of experience," which is unavoidably common to us all. And how fortunate we are for having Ríos as not only our usher but our poet.
Many of the changes to 42opus and 42opus.com listed below are foundation changes meant to increase our usefulness to readers and better our abilities to procure work from only the very best writers.
Of the many, many poems we've published over the course of 2006, the following eight are the pieces that moved me most—the ones that I most wished I had written instead and that I most shared with friends.
The third volume to emerge from the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and the first collection of its author's work, Famous is an assured and refreshingly self-possessed volume of poems, a rich offering of plain but musical language and understated irony
Reading this novel renders one a fly on a digital wall, listening in as half-baked undergraduates urgently chat about everything from the role of repressed postwar frustration as a motivating factor for tentacle-rape manga porn to whether the word "beige" can signify the same thing to two people in two places. All of which, in less skilled treatment, could be unbearable, but Pelevin's secret is pacing.
This is the gift of the book, in the end, a balance between philosophy and poetry, helter-skelter wit and calm sensual pauses.
I knew all along that it would not last. Even in April I was saying that winter would soon be here. Yet somehow it had begun to seem possible lately that a miracle might happen, that summer might drift on and on through the months – a final upheaval to crown a wonderful year.
Among sayings that have a currency in spite of being wholly false upon the face of them for the sake of a half-truth upon another subject which is accidentally combined with error, one of the grossest and broadest conveys the monstrous proposition that it is easy to tell the truth and hard to tell a lie. I wish heartily it were.
There are 42 lines on each page of the Gutenberg Bible, sometimes called the 42-line Bible.
Yeats found patterns in the rhythm of a place, changes in pitch, the boat is a song—it is locations.
As a rule, I'm an intuitive and exploratory poet. I'm interested in the discovery…
Too few know when they have Enough; and fewer know how to employ it.