The Naipaul Question, as Morgan Meis calls it, is simple: is V.S. Naipaul too offensive to be taken seriously? His recent biography includes scenes of abuse and moments of straightforward racism. But Meis thinks the issue is more complicated than whether Naipaul is a monster — the author is, in his phrasing, too “protean” to be pinned down.
Vladimir Nabokov spent twenty years translating “the first and fundamental Russian novel,” Aleksandr Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin. His battle with the text sparked an intellectual debate with his former friend, Edmund Wilson. The Paris Review has his notes. Pair with our own Lydia Kiesling’s thoughts on Lolita.
In honor of Bloomsday, some recommended reading, listening, and playing: one-day diaries of four modern Blooms in New York, Radio Bloomsday's seven hours of readings (by Alec Baldwin, John Lithgow, Jerry Stiller, Garrison Keillor, and others), even found poetry and an iPhone game drawn from the text of Ulysses. Oh, and--of course--James Joyce's book itself.
On Emily Dickinson's self-portrait, sherry, the power of handwriting and those notes we all passed around in junior high, from the Kenyon Review blog.
According to this week's New York Magazine Approval Matrix, our own Kevin Hartnett's article from two weeks ago is a highbrow yet despicable piece of writing. What makes it so despicable, you ask? Apparently they blame Professor Tom Ferraro's adulatory passage on the The Godfather.