Category Archives: Essays

James Salter: the Writer’s Writer who betrayed all Writers (2)

I discussed how Salter achieved greatness in a previous post. This is about how he betrayed his gifts and fellow writers, and even literature, in his later years. After The Hunters (1957) and the similarly-themed The Arm of Flesh (1961), … Continue reading

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James Salter: The Writer’s Writer who betrayed all Writers (1)

When James Salter died in 2015, the consensus obituary went like this (my summary): A great writer’s writer passed away, much esteemed by his fellow writers, but little known by the general public despite the success of his first novel, … Continue reading

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El Chantaje de Thomas Bernhard

Cuando era cinéfilo, allá en los 1990, frecuentemente aguantaba sentado, impertérrito, a ver todos los créditos después de haber acabado una película. Había leído que eso era lo que hacían los cinéfilos. Si los créditos suman unos cinco minutos por … Continue reading

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Slavoj Zizek’s Red-Inked Letter from the Left

The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek may be the most controversial thinker alive: on the right, he’s commonly derided as a buffoonish Communist, one described by the popular conservative writer Theodore Dalrymple as an “Ideal Fraud” who hopes for the resurrection … Continue reading

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An artist is just a bad propagandist (2)

In one of my first posts I argued that many artists are just inept propagandists: they have an idea they want to defend or promote, they do it poorly and muddle the message; then, art emerges in the process, like … Continue reading

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A Correspondent’s Progress (2)

In the second part of his memoirs, titled The Infernal Grove, Malcolm Muggeridge shows his hand early (by page 19, to be precise) by musing on that strange thing, innocence, which he calls “often a quality of worldly success, as … Continue reading

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A Correspondent’s Progress (1)

“So I began, and the words seemed to come of themselves; like lying as a child, or as a faithless lover; words pouring out of one in a circumstantially false explanation of some suspicious circumstance. The more glib, the greater … Continue reading

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