More specifically concerning: memoir
16 July 2006, around 21.44.
After about two hours of reading or discussion, we would go for a walk and then have tea at Lyons, or in the restaurant above the Regal cinema. Sometimes he came to my house in Searle street for supper. Once after supper, Wittgenstein, my wife and I went for a walk on Midsummer Common. We […]
31 August 2008, around 0.12.
We always associate the word ‘book’ with printing, and think of it in terms of format and typographical convenience, but such mechanical criteria do not apply to notebooks, whose beginning and end are determined only by the unity of the poetic impulse which gives birth to a given series of poems. In other words, a […]
17 September 2008, around 2.23.
Upon a Sunday morning, then, my father was walking round the lake which he had caused to be created, regretting that he had not moved the old river bed further back, and thinking out possible fantasies in stone, torrents to fall through the hanging woods above, pavilions upon islands and decorative effects generally (a few […]
22 November 2012, around 19.22.
I was almost exactly halfway through Céleste Albaret’s recollections of Monsieur Proust when I realized I had erred in the matter of genre. I had supposed it was merely a servant’s memoir of her eccentric employer. Given the pains she takes to clarify her stances on her employer (not crazy, not malingering, not a bit […]
on biography (3)
8 February 2013, around 0.02.
After reading Didier Eribon’s biography of Foucault, I turned with some relief to Karl Popper’s memoir Unended Quest. The biography of Foucault was maddening because it did what good biographies should do, and didn’t speculate, especially where speculation was warranted. Popper, meanwhile, positively disinvites speculation. There’s nothing to speculate about; he grinds through ideas with […]
the art of ‘truthiness’
21 October 2015, around 19.12.
Well, if I forked over the cover price for nonfiction, I consider it my business. While it’s great she [Vivian Gornick] owned up to her deceits, it’s hard to lend credence to any after-the-fact confession, especially one as vague or self-justifying as this one. It’s as if after lunch the deli guy quipped, ‘I put […]
6 March 2017, around 5.19.
Notes on reading Judith Butler as a tonic to Rousseau.
31 August 2019, around 10.02.
What was most interesting was the sense and use of time – the few hours, days, weeks passing from the spur to the flight – and the haphazard visions of memory run headlong. It (sc. This Tilting World) echoed, in propinquity,1 the promise of the narrators of The Glass Eye or Heartberries to create a […]
8 December 2019, around 16.05.
Vladislav Khodasevich and Nina Berberova, Sorrento, 1925. We perceived everything that happened then as an omen. But of what? —Vladislav Khodasevich (‘Muni’ in Necropolis, p. 83) It is difficult to know how to start thinking about Necropolis. Before I finished the book, I was certainly inclined to be dismissive – just so much gossip about […]