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Review-a-Day

Wednesday, February 10th


 

With Deer by Aase Berg and Johannes Goransson

With Deer

A review by Jordan Davis

I tend to prefer poetry when it holds its head up, taking in the world and responding, alert to beauty and change and able to talk about it in a more or less recognizably adult way. Since almost everything in the universe conspires against these qualities, and since it is impossible to live without poetry, I read a lot of poetry written with its head down, eyes closed, internal logic proudly untainted by common sense. Some of it is, within these limits, desperately good. With Deer, the first collection by the young Swedish poet, Aase Berg, as translated by the young Swedish-American poet, Johannes Gorannson, is one such book.

There lay the guinea pigs. There lay the guinea pigs and they waited with blood around their mouths like my sister. There lay the guinea pigs and they smelled bad in the cave. There lay my sister and she swelled and ached and throbbed. There lay the guinea pigs and they ached all over and their legs stuck straight up like beetles and they looked...

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Modern Library Classics) by Mark Twain

A review by William Dean Howells

[Ed. Note. Originally published in the May 1876 issue of The Atlantic, William Dean Howells reviews Mark Twain's summertime classic. 125 years later, in its July/August issue, The Atlantic presents an original, unpublished novelette by Mark Twain.]

Mr. Samuel Clemens has taken the boy of the Southwest for the hero of his new book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and has presented him with a fidelity to circumstance which loses no charm by being realistic in the highest degree, and which gives incomparably the best picture of life in that region as yet known to fiction. The town where...



Creation by Katherine Govier

'I prey on them out of love'

A review by Ron Charles

Skeptical biologists looking at John James Audubon's bird paintings in the 1820s wondered if such strange creatures could really exist. Today, unfortunately, some no longer do, making his elephant-sized portraits all the more striking and valuable.

The artist who killed his subjects to immortalize them is as elusive as any of the birds he pursued. Born in Haiti to a seaman and a French chambermaid, Audubon was raised by his stepmother in France, and eventually sent to America to avoid conscription in Napoleon's Army. Perhaps this early life of flight encouraged his attraction to feathered...



A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance by Jane Juska

A review by Stephanie Zacharek

The remarkable thing about Jane Juska's A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance isn't that it was written by a woman who sought great sex or at least just lots of sex toward the end of her 60s. It's that anyone, of any age or either sex, would have had the guts to write it at all. A Round-Heeled Woman is explicit in some places and downright titillating in others in other words, yes, there is sex in it, and plenty of it. But very few contemporary writers who have written about sex as an overt subject are as open about simple wanting as Juska is. It's easy to...



Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager by N+1 (cor)

Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager

A review by Scott McLemee

Jim Barnett, the title character of Mary McCarthy's story "A Portrait of the Intellectual as a Yale Man", is a genial and self-assured American liberal who becomes radicalised -- however temporarily and unsystematically -- following the crash of 1929. He is modelled on various real-life figures (John Chamberlain, Dwight Macdonald and James Burnham) who would have been recognizable when it appeared in The Company She Keeps (1942). But he could be alive now, after all. The type is perennial; for the influx of young Ivy Leaguers into literary and political circles is continuous, and prone to...



Ulysses (Vintage International) by James Joyce

Ulysses

A review by Edmund Wilson Jr.

[Editor's Note: This review of Ulysses by Edmund Wilson Jr. was originally published in the July 5, 1922, issue of the New Republic.]

On the 16th of June, 1904, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom were both living in Dublin. Both differed from the people about them and walked in isolation among them because each was, according to his capacity, an intellectual adventurer Dedalus, the poet and philosopher, with a mind full of beautiful images and abstruse speculations and Bloom, the advertisement canvasser, in a more rudimentary fashion. In the evening, Mr. Bloom and Dedalus became involved...



Sexual Reckonings : Southern Girls in a Troubling Age (07 Edition) by Susan K. Cahn

Delinquents or Dissidents?

A review by France Winddance Twine

As public policy wars over morality rage unabated, the bodies of teenage girls and young women remain the battleground, making this book an urgent read. In Sexual Reckonings, historian Susan Cahn examines how black and white teenage girls threw off patriarchal sexual standards and negotiated new freedoms in the early-20th-century South, and how that negotiation remade Southern society. "To 'reckon' with teenage sexuality in the South of the 1920s through the 1950s was indeed to come face to face with the fundamental fault lines of race, class and gender on which Southern society rested," she...



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