Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Tishri 7, 5775
Powerful words of poetry
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A few months back, I initiated a series of articles about Dryad Press, a small, independent venture out of Takoma Park, Md., kept afloat almost singlehandedly by Merrill Leffler, himself a poet and critic of note. The first Dryad title I discussed was 1111 Days in My Life Plus Four , primarily a diary begun by Ephraim F. Sten when...
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Bright romance in a dark time
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"This is the saddest story I've ever heard." That's a sentence the literary-minded may recognize as the first line of Ford Maddox Ford's most famous work of fiction The Good Soldier . He meant the phrase to be taken as bitterly ironic, especially once the reader reaches the finale of the novel, then thinks back to the innocent beginnings of...
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A touch of sadness clings to The Company They Kept , an otherwise joyous collection of essays by some of the world's best writers, in which they recount "unforgettable friendships" they've been blessed with. The sadness stems from the fact that this would appear to be the last book project that Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein worked on. All...
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Critic Clement Greenberg visited Syracuse often
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Clement Greenberg's name is not one that resonates these days with readers, except possibly among connoisseurs of the art world. But in the 1940s and '50s, he was one of the great cultural brokers in the United States, determining, with a word or a phrase, whose reputations rose or sank in the American art world. He commanded this power from...
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David Goodis was a product -- and the poet -- of Philly's mean streets
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David Goodis is the cult writer supreme, eclipsed perhaps only by Philip K. Dick of science-fiction fame and Jim Thompson, whom Goodis resembles, at least in a literary sense. All of the elements fell into place fairly early for Goodis to justify the bestowal of cult status: He, like Thompson and Dick, wrote genre fiction, in his case noir crime...
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