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Apr/May 2009

e c l e c t i c a   r e v i e w s   a n d   i n t e r v i e w s

Reviews & Interviews


(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

 

Gilbert Purdy reviews...

The Satires of Horace
translation by A. M. Juster
 
The 21st century translator begins a work such as The Satires with considerable disadvantages under which his or her predecessors did not necessarily labor. Pope, for example, personally knew all of the recognized British poets of his day and many, if not most, of his readers. They all converged on London, once a year, during the season, and attended one or more of the various overlapping party circuits. They presented their cards on visiting days at many of the same houses.

The Dream We Carry
by Olav H. Hauge, translation by Robert Bly and Robert Hedin
 
Olav H. Hauge tended his little garden and spent his nights in the good company of Basho, Brecht, Emily Dickinson, the T'ang poets and others, and the poems of The Dream We Carry make clear that it was, in many ways, an unusually rich life.

 

Grace Andreacchi reviews...

Suburban Swindle
by Jackie Corley
 
This is not your suburbia of spoiled comfort and ease, this is your suburbia of "dead garden snakes and dried-up slugs," of empty parking lots and sad diners and cemeteries where kids gather to drink, fight and hurt one another, sometimes badly.

 

Kajsa Wiberg reviews...

Little Face
by Sophie Hannah
 
The harder they try to figure out what lurks beneath the immaculate surface of David's family, the longer the list of suspects grows.

 

Norman Ball reviews...

Unexpected Light
by C. E. Chaffin
 
Though it seems ludicrous to have to assert, intelligence is a good thing. The affront comes when mindfulness arrives draped in callow ploys: obscurantism, pedantry, pretentiousness and the like. This is intelligent poetry in the very best sense.

 

Colleen Mondor reviews...

Biographies Aimed at Young People
by Various Authors
 
After only a few weeks of studying European history in junior high most of us realize that the royals were a bloodthirsty (and sometimes flat-out crazy) bunch.

Books about the Great Outdoors for Younger Readers
by Various Authors
 
It is hard to believe how much information Chin packs into Redwoods or how effective his fantasy twist remains throughout the text. This is a very good nature title and a source for information that should find a lot of classroom use. But its readability soars to new heights through the twist of "falling into a book." Ultimately you have a fun book about trees which is quite a nice surprise.

Fairy Tales for Grown-ups
by Various Authors
 
Recently reissued by Prime Books, these stories are "old school" in that they bring fairy tales out of the nursery and return them to adult settings where they can be better appreciated in all their non-Disneyfied glory.

 

Elizabeth P. Glixman interviews...

Blake Butler
author of the novella Ever
 
I don't know what the narrator was "trying to achieve." The narrator, in what I know of her, does not know what she is trying to achieve. For me, the great pleasure of creation, in reading and otherwise, is in the search, not in the answer—and I believe that the search should extend beyond the pages of a book.

 

Scott Malby reviews...

Five Lit Sites—Quick and Dirty
 
One well-written story in issue number three borders on the pornographic; I guess it would fall under trans-gender studies. It's as if the material has been poured from a series of blenders, all the while making a perfectly rational and understandable concoction. I don't mean it's Surrealistic or Dada. It's something else. Once, one might have called it a fringe literature.

 

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