Posts by: Sean Carman

Sean Carman: The Last Book I Loved, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

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Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Mario Vargas Llosa’s 1977 novel, begins with an epigraph–a quote from Salvador Elizondo’s The Graphographer–about the watery line between reality and its representation in language. “I write,” it begins. “I write that I am writing. Mentally I see myself writing that I am writing and I can also see myself […]

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Sean Carman: The Last Book I Loved, Stories I Stole

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Wendell Steavenson’s memoir of her time as a freelance foreign correspondent in Tblisi, Georgia, begins in her former Time Magazine office, where she and her friend Nina spin escape fantasies under the world map tacked above their desks. Nina has stuck her pin in Pamplona. Steavenson has chosen Tblisi, capital of the former Soviet Republic […]

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Harlem Blues

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Between 1915 and 1970, six million African-Americans left the oppression of the Jim Crow South to find freedom in California and the northern states. Most traveled by rail, with those in the Southeast taking the Seaboard Air Line up the East Coast to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. The most popular destination for southern […]

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Sean Carman: The Last Book I Loved, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

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The great thing about Russian literature is how strange it is. The characters in Dostoevsky are always breaking out in histrionics. They bustle about, shake their fists, and call each other scoundrels. They “fly” to wherever they are going and “fly at” each other when they get there. “What on earth does it mean to […]

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