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  • James Salter’s ‘A Sport and a Pastime.’ September 17, 2020
    2. The notion of a relationship becoming deeper and more profound as people begin to ‘transgress’ the boundaries of what a twenty-first century reader would describe as vanilla sex is also a time-worn strategy. The writer to most conspicuously and effectively deploy it was D.H. Lawrence in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and since Lawrence, it has […]
  • James Salter’s ‘A Sport and a Pastime.’ September 16, 2020
    1. A Sport and a Pastime is considered – by Americans – to be an American classic. My first question, upon finishing the book, is, ‘What makes something a classic? What makes it ‘feel’ like one?’ In the case of James Salter’s novel, it’s a novel that has painted itself in the colours that Americans […]
  • Blankness of a Clock Face August 30, 2020
    Your stride faltered in hesitation asThe young man held the door to let you passHis face eclipsed by yours – a brief reflectionHis eyes stalled by yours within the glass I’d hoped to catch this moment in the mirrorRising from the lines upon my faceBut read the time less from standing figuresThan from the way […]
  • The Devils – A User’s Guide August 26, 2020
    What’s it about? What amounts to a terrorist cell in mid-nineteenth century Russia and its effect on a small fictional town of Dostoyevsky’s invention. The novel follows a group of characters that live in the town and the complex web of their relationships. Like real people, they do all kinds of crazy things under pressure […]
  • Her Invisible Wings August 9, 2020
    Within the lock the key creates a flashpoint And the lambent pressure of her absence Rolls back in waves from the open door And mounts walls in cylinders of silence Where once we sheltered in woven shadows Drifting down from her invisible wings And the electricity of orgasm Glittered random and wild across her skin […]
  • My Dark Vanessa August 7, 2020
      4. “I called Lolita a love story and the professor cut me off, saying, ‘Calling this novel a love story indicates an unconscionable misreading on your part.’ She wouldn’t even let me finish what I was trying to say. Ever since then, I haven’t dared bring it up in any of my classes.” p.291, […]
  • My Dark Vanessa August 2, 2020
    3. Our relationship lasted until after I graduated. She left her husband and I’d left school, and she came over to my apartment one day and we talked about doing it properly. Over the next few months, I began to put the whole thing together in my mind and shook her off. I retreated into […]
  • My Dark Vanessa July 30, 2020
    2. I had an illicit relationship with a teacher that started when I was sixteen. I hadn’t thought much about it until recently, once I’d started reading Vanessa. It was a relationship that grew organically, but when I consider it in light of Vanessa’s relationship with her teacher, it did have some similar qualities. For […]
  • My Dark Vanessa July 26, 2020
    ‘Romance is rape by seduction’. – Andrea Dworkin. 1. I used to hate Andrea Dworkin. She was invoked like a saint by all those hateful, spotty little feminazis at Melbourne University, chanting and shouting and marching, projecting all kinds of resentment and hatred. They threw the word ‘men’ like it was a paper bag full […]
  • Jocko Willink and David Goggins versus Leo Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway and Hayden Carruth July 10, 2020
    2. There are some novels you read that make you think, ‘Why can’t all books be like this one?’ Leo Tolstoy’s Hadji Murat is one of them. It’s set around 1850: the story of a Chechen warlord, Murat is a long-time adversary of the Russian army compelled to forge an uneasy alliance with his old […]

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