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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Personal Weather: Rereading Adrienne Rich for the Anthropocene

Adrienne Rich once said that poetry is “liberative language, connecting the fragments within us, connecting us to others like and unlike ourselves,” and whether or not that’s true, I’ve found that her work does have something to tell us about the fragmented individual and the collective whole—not just historically, but in the context of today’s muted urgencies, within the mutual ruin of the Anthropocene.

Don’t Take Your Guns to Town, Son

When I told people in New York that I was moving to Texas, the conversation pretty much always went the same way: “To Austin, I assume?” (Yes.) “Oh, well, Austin isn’t Texas. I hear people love Austin.” In fact, Austin is in Texas, as evidenced by the very name of the university at which I now work, and the fact that the capital of the state is here. From the iconic bell tower on campus, one can look upon the domed and columned capital building down below, the largest state capital in the United States (no surprise there).

“Hemingway’s Humor,” by Jeffrey Meyers

Hemingway’s fame rests on his tragic romances of love and death; his evocative stories crafted in spare prose; his vivid war reporting and travel books. He was not a comic writer, and when he tried to be funny he could be heavy-handed, as in his parody The Torrents of Spring, or embarrassingly arch, as in the tedious conversations with the Old Lady in the otherwise fascinating Death in the Afternoon. Yet his most underrated quality was his lively sense of humor.