Tag Archives: writing

Telling It

“I see the boys of summer in their ruin “Lay the gold tithings barren, “Setting no store by harvest, freeze the soils …” Great store is set today by grit: telling it like it is, calling it as you see … Continue reading

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Truth in Writing

Occasionally people will ask about Henry Miller: was he even a real writer? Wasn’t he a fraud who fooled the world into believing he was the real thing? Miller’s books are, on the one hand, like nothing else that had … Continue reading

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Henry Miller: Soul and Mind

In Chapter Two of Nexus we see the limits of Henry Miller’s patience with abstract arguments. His friend, a lawyer called John Stymer, is, like Miller, fascinated by Dostoevsky, and thinks that a “new phase of existence” arrived for humanity … Continue reading

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American Life Unlimited

Chapter 1 of Henry Miller’s Nexus is about, among other things, the mystery of Dostoevsky and the monotony of New York City. He finds a line he’s scribbled in his notebook, which he thinks is “probably from Berdyaev.” It says: … Continue reading

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Notes on Gogol’s Old-Fashioned Farmers

The world is all “in an uproar,” says Gogol. And yet here is peace and quiet: the house of the owners of a small village in the Ukraine, with its bright garden full of trees and hanging fruits, and the … Continue reading

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Notes on Gogol’s The Overcoat

Gogol’s The Overcoat is a story of a lowly government official in Tsarist Russia. His job is to copy out documents. There’s a curious ambiguity in the narrator’s feelings for the official: on the one hand he is described as … Continue reading

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Creation is Grace: Notes on Daniil Kharms

I’ve been reading I Am a Phenomenon Quite Out of the Ordinary: the Notebooks, Diaries, and Letters of Daniil Kharms (published 2013) and trying to get a picture in my mind of the kind of person Kharms was. “Creation is … Continue reading

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