A god does not intervene. A mortal dies. Things happen repeatedly, then suddenly they differ. That rhythm of action, which combines repetition with asymmetry, is the rhythm of Homeric narrative and of the Homeric style. And it is designed to hold you in its spell as much as the rhythm of a line: the beat of repetition tells you this must happen, then, behold a wonder, it does not.
Posts Tagged: London Review of Books
I went to university in 1964, a different era, when very few of us, around 5 per cent of the population, had the chance. We were undoubtedly a lucky generation. Now, many many more of us, young and older, are studying for degrees – between 35 and 40 per cent.
“Dylan is very emotional but like a good Welshman also very suspicious. Thus when he has expressed himself very warmly, in fact exposed himself, he will suddenly react violently towards a self-sneering cynicism.”
Dylan Thomas would have turned 100 a couple of weeks ago....more
Elevators, that common denominator of human anxiety, have a long history. David Trotter reviews Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator by Andreas Bernard:
That’s what elevator protocol is for. Or so we might gather from the very large number of scenes set in lifts in movies from the 1930s onwards.
I can imagine complaining along these lines in an editorial meeting at a British publishing house, and being sighed at: “Yes, of course the 1960s cover is beautiful – I love it – but Waterstones and Tesco won’t stock it.”
At the London Review of Books‘ blog, Fatema Ahmed takes a critical look at the cover of a new edition of The Bell Jar, which depicts a woman applying makeup....more
This one time in the 19th century, some guys were hanging out in a store when a shotgun accidently went off, wounding one Alex St Martin in the stomach, exposing his breakfast and his digestive system.
While the part about the breakfast is completely upsetting, the uncovering of the human digestive anatomy was actually both helpful and upsetting....more
Good things happen when people who grow up listening to Thriller become poets.
There’s going to be a new Bukowski exhibit down Southern California way, including his “annotated racing forms” that will teach you his system for playing the horses.
Jason Pinter takes on the idea that men don’t read....more
Blog is a fun word to say, even if I’m tired of hearing other people say it.
Michaelangelo’s poem “When the Author Was Painting the Vault of the Sistene Chapel.” (via)
“Hey Oscar Wilde! It’s Clobbering Time!” Jacket Copy has fun with illustrators’ pictures of their favorite literary figures and characters....more
Rory Stewart’s LRB article “the Irresistible Illusion,” analyzes the language current Western leaders use when speaking about Afghanistan. Then he compares it to similar speeches made by others since 1868.
Spoiler: Nothing new has been said in over 140 years.
If anything, according to Stewart, our rhetoric has gotten worse....more