Articles by Rodney Welch

August 19, 2011

A Morality Play Where the Moral Keeps Changing: Notes on the Library of America’s At the Fights 3

It’s hard to love the sport without being, also, deeply aware of what a bestial exhibition it is. It’s uncivilized, dirty, corrupt, and ought to be against the law. It’s a racket that refuses to be rehabilitated, and a volatile, exhilarating vice.

March 7, 2011

For Sonny – With Love and Sympathy: Kenneth Slawenski’s J.D. Salinger: A Life 15

Before I say anything about Slawenski’s compelling but adoring biography of Salinger, I have a question: does anyone really, really understand just why Seymour Glass blows his brains out at the end of  “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”?

January 19, 2011

The Great Late Henry James 9

If there was ever a rule that an American writer should do his boldest, most experimental work first and then retreat to safe ground, no one ever bothered to tell Henry James.