People interested in putting together a very restricted canon of great books don’t really like reading; true readers, among whom I have the impertinence to include myself, are always sniffing out more and more titles. Reading is a hobby that never grows stale–and an unpunished vice.
Posted on October 5, 2018
If we look at classic authors, we can see that evil characters are not always unsympathetic; we are drawn to schemers, revenge-seekers, bad hombres, because they have strong intentions in a vapid world, piercing insights into the fog of existence, unrelenting plans in a rudderless world.
Posted on October 1, 2018
Precision is easier to master than artful vagueness, especially now when, thanks to Google, novels are fact-heavy. We no longer refer to “flowers” but to particular varieties of roses. The whole valuable distinction between foreground (precise) and background (blurred) has been lost, and now everything is crowding toward the viewer, clamoring for attention.
Posted on August 26, 2018
The grand dame of gay letters, Edmund White, published The Unpunished Vice: a Life of Reading back in June, and I’m pleased to report to all who care that the 78 White is just as trenchant and charming as the 19 White who witnessed Stonewall.