Posts Tagged ‘Ernest Hemingway’
June 18, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
June 11, 2013 | by Rowena Kennedy-Epstein
In the Library of Congress archive of the American poet Muriel Rukeyser, there is a vast network of one-sided correspondence, incomplete drafts, unpublished texts, notes, proofs, diaries, and datebooks. It is a space of the unfinished, of process, and of radical possibility. Its silences represent the often violent effects of cold-war intellectual suppression, the sexism of editors, and the deaths of lovers. Over the course of six years I came and went, making the trip from New York to D.C., piecing together a literary history about a writer whose life and work are notoriously difficult to map.
The archival breaks, aesthetic pronouncements, and biographical lacunae that characterize Rukeyser’s archive do not feel particularly surprising for a writer whose career and work appear always disrupted and open-ended—visible and invisible at the same time. Rukeyser’s poems, biographies, and essays have persistently challenged the rigid artistic, political, and intellectual binaries that have shaped the twentieth century, and because of this she has experienced a continual burial and recovery. She has been alternately denigrated and admired for being an avant-garde and radical poet, a feminist, a theorist, an activist; for being sexually liberated and a single mother. She has been viewed from both sides of the critical establishment as being either too aesthetically experimental or not aesthetically rigorous enough, as too radical or insufficiently Marxist. These dichotomous readings of Rukeyser highlight the ways in which her work defied and remade the political and artistic programs of her historical moment. “For our time depends not on single points of knowledge,” she wrote in The Life of Poetry, “but on clusters and combinations.”
The Life of Poetry begins on a boat evacuating Barcelona during the first days of the Spanish Civil War. In it, she describes an experience of profound transformation, writing of Spain as the place where “I began to say what I believed.” I followed that thought into her archive and back out again. Almost no one had written on the subject; her writings on Spain were like unmarked graves scattered through her work, identifiable only by a phrase or image repeated and refigured in other works, some of them long out of print, others lost and buried in the archive. But the silences of each gave access to the other: a line in a poem made a map into the archive; the material recovered in the archive made visible not only that which was hidden in her already published work, but elucidated new literary and political histories. Rukeyser wrote about Spain for more than forty years, in every genre. The texts overlap and echo each other; they proliferate across decades and are intertwined with other histories. Always they carry a sense of urgency, and always they return to just five days in 1936. Read More »
May 29, 2013 | by Ellen Duffer
- Everyone agrees that getting rid of books is deeply sad.
- Liberace, pre-Soderbergh, wrote a cookbook that now sells for around $500. Included is a salad recipe that orders you not to omit the pickles.
- This is a fantastic headline: “Vintage typewriters find new life in hands of writers, actors and old repairmen.” Just ask Tom Hanks, who apparently likes to buy restored machines that belonged to the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles.
- While e-book reading is on the rise, a new poll says parents overwhelmingly prefer reading print with their kids.
- Memoirist Rachel Howard says writing is like drawing: “Later, I could go back and do what artists call rendering—working the drawing, adding detail. But now I had a solid gesture sketch to work from.”
May 16, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
- In a note to Fitzgerald, Hemingway shows he was better at being aggressive than passive-aggressive.
- The Nation has launched eBookNation, which will feature digital versions of both new work and items from the archive (dating back to 1865!).
- Notting Hill Editions has announced the William Hazlitt Essay Prize for nonfiction writing.
- “Leipzigers read so much, the city’s nickname was ‘Leserland,’ or Readerland. And it does feel, immediately, like a city of bookish cyclists.” Alexander Chee on culture clash.
May 7, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
Even if, like some of us, you already have Great Gatsby fatigue, you can enjoy playing with this (raven-haired) F. Scott Fitzgerald doll. Send him and Zelda out on the town. Let Hemingway insult him in a rental car. Send him to the south with the Murphys (although you’ll have to use a Barbie and Ken or someone to play them). Bring him to the movies and let him weep into his tiny martini as you watch Baz Luhrmann’s extravaganza.
May 6, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
- More than two thousand papers and other materials from Ernest Hemingway’s Havana estate, Finca Vigia, are being transferred to the John F. Kennedy Library.
- Everything you did not know about the Desmond Elliott Prize, which is a prize.
- William S. Burroughs’s daily routine: methadone, lemonade, knife-throwing.
- One hundred academics write an open letter to the British education secretary; get taken to task for bad grammar.
- Taschen wants to corner the market on “big, collectible books.” (The formal industry term.)