Author Archives: gil4or

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

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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

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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

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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

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On Gombrowicz’ Trans-Atlantyk

Dear Gombrowicz Lovers or Discontents: It was good to hear some remarks from you early-bird readers who have begun to tackle, to get hooked into (snagged onto?) Trans-Atlantyk and the other Gombrowiczian story (“On the Back Stairs”) and Diary passages … Continue reading

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Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz: A Right Strange Stew!

His grudge was against Poland where his works were banned, against France and Paris which had adopted him so late, against the whole world which had remained blind so long to his genius. [From Maurice Nadeau’s “Introduction” to A Kind … Continue reading

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What’s in a List? A Commentary on Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish (New York: Tyrant Books, 2015)

“Lists today are a way of trying to get through the day, because we’re losing our sense of time.” –David Viscott. Most of my student life in learning languages was spent in memorizing lists. If the reader is familiar with … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Selections, Preparation for the Next Life | Leave a comment

David Gilmour’s Steinbeck Journal Assignment

The Burials of Red Potter   Beneath the canopy of high mountain pines down in the shade by Johnson’s Creek a pack-horse stood with heavy panniers, a silhouette against the sunlit stream.  Two large, dark bundles lay on the creek’s … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Selections, Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath | Leave a comment

ARS LONGA

[Post post:] The Free Spirit of Laurence Sterne “For in writing what I have set about, I shall confine myself neither to his [Horace’s] rules, nor to any man’s rules who ever lived.” (Tristram Shandy, Bk 1, Ch. iv.)  “Nothing … Continue reading

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Coming of Age: No Literary “Recognition” in Young Jack

Comments on Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life: a Memoir (New York:  Grove Press, c1989) Too many memories have revisited me since I read This Boy’s Life a couple of months ago that I have to comment on the importance of … Continue reading

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