Summary: A Texas writer who listens to “Soul Mountain” while driving in his car around Houston describes Gao Xingjian’s ambivalence towards the modern novel and traditional storytelling.

The Peripatetic Novel

This review is a little special: it’s about a book I heard completely while driving around in my car. I recently returned to my home town, Houston, a city where people spend unbearable amounts of time in the solitude of their cars, driving from work to home and work again. In Houston waiting in traffic is synonymous with living. One passes through neighborhoods in air-conditioned comfort, cursing the red lights and slow-moving cars. The purpose of Houston life, it seems, is to wander around without having to feel the breeze or notice the trees, people or shops. The only interruption to the routine are the weekly visits to the gas station, where the traveler parks, inserts his debit card into the machine and pumps gas into his tank Then, if he is lucky, he can leave as quickly as he came, merging into the grumbling fog of traffic. Read the rest of this entry »

The second oldest of five siblings was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Southern Baptist parents of modest means. His father worked as a construction worker and a cotton farmer; his mother was a homemaker.[1] After moving frequently, the family settled in 1967 in the town of Southaven in De Soto County, Mississippi, where Grisham graduated from Southaven High School. He played as a quarterback for the school football team. Unlike the main character in his 2003 novel, Bleachers (novel), he wasn’t an All-American football player. Encouraged by his mother, the young Grisham was an avid reader, and was especially influenced by the work of John Steinbeck whose clarity he admired.

In 1977, Grisham received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Mississippi State University. While studying at MSU, the author began to keep a journal, a practice that would later assist in his creative endeavors. Grisham tried out for the baseball team at Delta State University, but was cut by the coach, who was the former Boston Red Sox pitcher Dave Ferriss. He earned his J.D. degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981. During law school, Grisham switched interests from tax law to criminal and general civil litigation. Upon graduation, he entered a small-town general law practice for nearly a decade in Southaven, where he focused on criminal law and civil law representing a broad spectrum of clients. As a young attorney, he spent much of his time in court proceedings. Read the rest of this entry »

Out of Place: a memoir is the account of Edward Said’s life prior to his professional career. As such, it helps to explain some of the many paradoxes of Said’s identity as a public intellectual, literary theorist and political activist. The conditions of Said’s life are crucial to an understanding of his theories, political and literary.

Faced with a possibly fast approaching death, Out of Place: A memoir was written with a sense of urgency: Edward Said tries to make sense of the early part his own life, to reflect on the past and how it has transpired into the present. Said, a distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University, a celebrated public intellectual and one of the world’s best known advocates of Palestinian issues, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1991 and began to write this memoir in 1994. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted: October 10, 2007 in A Chat with Author, Descartes

” It was at the same time of an adventurous and prompt nature to fold up itself ”

Discussion with Genevieve Rodis-Lewis, by François Ewald
Literary magazine n° 342
April 1996

” I thus doubt I exist ; or what is the same thing : I think, therefore I exist. “Descartes

Genevieve Rodis-Lewis devoted her life to Descartes. Its work on metaphysics, morals, anthropology, marked contemporary knowledge. In its biography, undoubtedly final (” Descartes “, éd.Calmann-Lévy), it only did not correct the errors of its precursors, but did not seek to include/understand the character of the Descartes man.

Q – Why a new biography of Descartes ? Read the rest of this entry »

By Helene Monsacré
Literary magazine n° 221
Juillet/Août 1985 (File literature and the exile).

“Oh! not, nothing is softer than fatherland and parents; in the exile, what good is the richest residence, among foreigners and far from its parents?”
Ulysses in.

It is at the time when Ulysses has just declined his identity in Phéaciens, and before even beginning the long account of its adventures, which it makes reference to the hardness of the exile. And what a exile! Ten years with guerroyer under the walls of Troy with the other Greeks, nine years to be wandered on the seas with the research of the way of the return. Because,it is to it the post-war period; it is the account of the returns of the Greek heroes in their hearths, more particularly the recit of the return of Ulysses. During nearly ten years, Ulysses fights to leave the inhospitable regions where, inlassablement, it fails; during ten years, this so difficult return will lead it of one exile to the other.

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By Jean-Baptist Baronian
The Literary Magazine n°468
October 2007

In addition to Alfred Jarry and Octave Mirbeau, the white Review accomodated talented writers, aujourd’hui forgotten.

Jarry and Octave Mirbeau, the white Review accomodated talented writers, aujourd’hui forgotten.

“Center of rallying of all the divergences” according to the formula d’André Gide, the white Review regularly makes l’objet, these last decades, d’études and of work. Witness, the very recent bibliography of the a hundred and forty pounds qu’elle published, of 1892 to 1902, established by Patrick Fréchet with the editions of Lérot (see the literary Magazine n° 461). Read the rest of this entry »

Kafka Pragois

Posted: October 10, 2007 in Kafka, Literary Essay, Literary Magazine

By Jean Montalbetti

Literary magazine n° 198
September 1983

1983. Whole Europe celebrates the centenary of Kafka. In Paris, a conference is devoted to him to the Sorbonne. But Prague, city whose Kafka is indissociable, continuous to regard it as a declining author, of which proscire is needed work and the memory.

“It seemed to to me that the nature of works of Kafka is such that it is likely to make of him the completely frightening civil servant of the Castle which he describes (…) It is the humour which prevents Kafka from becoming this monument petrified and risen by the mass of interpretations that one brings.”
Vaclav Jamek

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