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Articles tagged "Art"

Petroleum Venus

“Vanya, why are you sitting in the dark?” “I’m looking at the picture,” came the imperturbable reply. “What picture?” What new fantasy had come into his mind? I walked up behind him and put a hand on his shoulder. A picture frame he had brought in off the street was propped against our pot-bellied fridge. It had a picture in it. I flicked the switch and warm light flowed down from our tumblerlike lampshades. A naked blonde, her...

The Hunchback and Botticelli’s Venus

Fluttering locks of reddish hair whipped by the wind and rain, smooth and radiant skin, she is Botticelli’s Venus walking down the street. (The one in the Uffizi, born from a seashell, not the one in the Staatliche Museen, with a black background, which is similar but has dry hair arranged around the head, descending evenly down the body.) Don’t think that I boast any extraordinary perspicacity, but the fact is that even if the woman I observe is as motionless as a statue, I...

A Necessary Distance from Reality: An Interview with Rutu Modan

Rutu Modan is a rarity. One of the few established comics artists in Israel, she is also one of the few established female comics artists in the world. After graduating from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Modan began writing and illustrating comic strips and stories for Israel's leading daily newspapers, as well as editing the Israeli edition of MAD magazine with Yirmi Pinkus. In 1995, she and Pinkus cofounded Actus Tragicus, an internationally acclaimed collective...

Narcissus

I read “On the Conduct of Lord Tadanao” when I was thirteen or fourteen, and though I’ve not had an opportunity to reread it since, I still remember the plot some twenty years later. It’s a strangely poignant tale. A young feudal lord, an excellent swordsman, is in the habit of challenging his retainers to fencing matches. One night, after defeating all comers, he is strolling complacently through the garden when he overhears the following disconcerting words,...

from “Diary”

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The following article contains scenes depicting nudity and sexual situations. Reader discretion is advised.

on Walser and the Visual Arts

Sam Jones: What is it about Walser, do you think, that speaks so powerfully to artists? Tom Whalen: An image, a rhythm, a setting, a philosophical conundrum—I imagine anything out of Walser might make one reach for a brush and palette. A sense of kinship can also be a prime mover. It's easy to like a writer who reminds us simultaneously of our insignificance and the importance of the same. Walser expressed his gratitude to those writers who had the kindness to say yes to him...

The A to Z of Literary Translation

Whilst writing about English PEN's "Writers in Translation" committee, of which I am a member—tapping into my experiences as an editor, agent and publicist—the idea of doing a fun, but far from definitive listing, the A to Z Of Literary Translation, came to mind. oOo Artistry and adaptation are essential to the process of literary translation, since translation is an act of writing. Also accuracy and avoiding short cuts based on the íwhen in doubt, cut it outë...

The Pig

Asbjørn Hall was admitted to an Oslo hospital on December 4th, 2003, for an intestinal operation, a rather unpleasant business no one would look forward to. But Asbjørn Hall was seventy-eight and had never been ill before, barring minor complaints such as colds, toothache, and the occasional hangover. For that reason he realized now this was no more than to be expected; that's not saying he saw this as some punishment for a long and godless life—no, Asbjørn...

The Man Who Killed the Writer

First things first: I didn't write the book everyone thinks I wrote, the one that has been showering me with fame and riches since its publication, just over one year go. Although many people might find that strange—while others might say, I knew it, he never fooled me—the work was entirely finished when I found it, scattered in scrawls all over the walls of an apartment just like my own: all I did was edit it. They Kill Writers, Don't They? was written by a fellow...

Crimean Sojourns to the Movies

susan sarandon from the family felidae doesn't like to cry and never cries we aren't let into the movies but they write, that it'll be fun in the same green chairs like it was 40 years ago the church on the bank: din-dong din-dong susan saran-din-dong somewhere london-din-dong and the same rain if the rain was a wall like the berlin one for instance the one that cut the world in half and the world would divide like a macerated polymer blah...

The Rooster’s Egg: A Fable of Ancient Thebes

It is hard not to read this story as a lesson about the arbitrary nature of power and attendant reversals of fortune. Some historical background: Akhenaten, originally Amenhotep IV (1353-1335 B.C.), was the "heretic" pharaoh who officially rejected the traditional Egyptian pantheon, and instituted a new, monotheistic religion, centering on the worship of the sun disk, Aten. However, as modern Egyptians reading this would know, the priests of Amun in fact got the last laugh: after...

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