Best Book of 1949: The Thief’s Journal
‘To read it is to feel the alternative tempo in the rude repetitions of the thief who loves to steal.’
The Best Book of 1943: Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
Kathryn Scanlan on the best book of 1943: Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles.
Best Book of 1966: Season of Migration to the North
‘Of course, literature cannot be separated from its flesh of language and form. Nor can its tangible subject explain why it moves its reader, through the subtleties of language, or the shadowy geographies that it leaves to the imagination.’
Best Book of 1947: Call Me Ishmael by Charles Olson
Chris Power on the Best Book of 1947: Call Me Ishmael by Charles Olson.
Best Book of 1935: Junichiro Tanizaki’s The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi
Naben Ruthnum on the best book of 1935: Junichiro Tanizaki's The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi.
Why Should You Be One Too?
Spencer Reece on alcoholism, homosexuality, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.
Kathryn Scanlan | Notes on Craft
‘I try to write a sentence as unbudging and fully itself as some object sitting on a shelf in my office.’
‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace.’
The Canvas Bag
‘It was given to her by her Japanese captors after the Fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942 to pack the few possessions she was allowed to take with her to prison.’
Letter of Apology
‘One can only argue with an intellectual like Konstantyn Illych if one speaks to him on his level.’
‘We have to reverse-engineer our genius so that we can appreciate the simple things.’
‘he cut out small talk / not hearing it, convincingly deaf to its nothing’