Author Archives: gil4or

John McPhee: Word-Rustler

Notes of a logophile on Irons in the Fire and The John McPhee Reader. Let’s get chatoyant! John McPhee was high on life, especially when his interests took him out into nature.  It makes me wonder what he thinks of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Notes on Lauren Groff’s Florida

(References to the paperback edition of Florida (New York: Riverhead Books, 2018) “Black vultures that smell ‘like a thousand rotten corpses’ have brought a Florida neighborhodd to its knees.” (Business Insider, August 17, 2019) Florida by Lauren Groff is storytelling … Continue reading

Posted in 2019 Selections, Florida | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Part 4: The Uncanny: Metamorphosis and Brutal Aesthetics in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian

In-hye’s Slender Thread “Sister . . . all the trees of the world are like brothers and sisters.”[i] “A chorus of living wood, sings to the woman: If your mind were only a slightly greener thing, we’d drown you in … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 Selections, The Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Part 3B: The Uncanny: Metamorphosis and Brutal Aesthetics in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, “Crossing Boundaries”

A Gravely Troubled Man The perspective of the artist is highly self-reflexive. For one, he did not condemn Yeong-hye for her strangeness, though he was unable to truly understand her psychic disposition.  Han’s study of the artist is excessively detailed, … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 Selections, The Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Part 3A: The Uncanny: Metamorphosis and Brutal Aesthetics in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian

“Such Uncanny Serenity” It is dark under the lamp. (Korean quote) The natural world can offer us more than the means to survive, on the one hand, or mortal risks to be avoided, on the other: it can offer us … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 Selections, The Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Part 2: The Uncanny: Metamorphosis and the Brutal Aesthetics of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian

In brutal aesthetics, however, the animal mutates variously into a beast, a god, a monster, or a creature.[i] Brutal aesthetics is not nihilistic, it is only the first step. To illuminate, to connect, to transform, to reanimate is the important … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 Selections, The Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Part 1: The Uncanny: Metamorphosis and the Brutal Aesthetics of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian.

Commentary on The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith (New York: Hogarth Press, 2015)  “Art is here to prove, and to help one bear, the fact that all safety is an illusion.” (From James Baldwin’s … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 Selections, The Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Ars Poetica

Echoes of Gombrowicz’s Sensibility: Form and Chaos How do we come to our senses? Who are we? “…I actually thought it unseemly to pass over in silence the callow youth inside me, and I thought grown-ups far too perspicacious and … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 Selections, Trans-Atlantyk | Leave a comment

Playing It by Ear: a Plea for Dramatizing the Art of Witold Gombrowicz

 The Orality of Trans-Atlantyk and Other Literatures “You are allowed to write about yourself.” Witold Gombrowicz[i] For many, many months, some years ago now, my wife and I sat together through spring-to-summer’s evenings reading the same literary work together.  We … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 Selections, Trans-Atlantyk | Leave a comment

Witold Gombrowicz: Like Laurence Sterne, a Free Spirit

  A Farce, a Farce, My Kingdom for a Farce!  Try to set yourself against form, try to shake free of it.[From Witold Gombrowicz, A Kind of Testament, edited by Dominique de Roux; translated by Alastair Hamilton (Champaign, Illinois:  Dalkey … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 Selections, Trans-Atlantyk | 1 Comment