John Pistelli

writer

From the Gray Zone

Arous’d and angry, I’d thought to beat the alarum, and urge relentless war, But soon my fingers fail’d me, my face droop’d and I resign’d myself, To sit by the … Continue reading

23 November 2016 · Leave a comment

Georges Bataille, Story of the Eye

Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille My rating: 2 of 5 stars [This is a pornographic novel, and not all of the activities it describes are consensual, so you … Continue reading

7 November 2016 · Leave a comment

Gjertrud Schnackenberg, The Throne of Labdacus

The Throne of Labdacus: A Poem by Gjertrud Schnackenberg My rating: 4 of 5 stars In Literature and the Gods, Roberto Calasso notes that the Romantics’ interest in the Greek … Continue reading

5 November 2016 · 1 Comment

William Butler Yeats, The Tower

The Tower by W.B. Yeats My rating: 5 of 5 stars In my review of Seamus Heaney’s Death of a Naturalist, I casually referred to “Yeatsian idealism,” to contrast the … Continue reading

2 November 2016 · 1 Comment

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle My rating: 3 of 5 stars Today, in honor of Halloween, the Paris Review is running an 1872 epistolary exchange between … Continue reading

31 October 2016 · 2 Comments

H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft My rating: 4 of 5 stars Having read The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, what choice did I have in this Halloween … Continue reading

28 October 2016 · 1 Comment

Seamus Heaney, Death of a Naturalist

Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney My rating: 5 of 5 stars Thinking, for what should be obvious reasons, about previous Anglophone poets who won the Nobel Prize, I … Continue reading

23 October 2016 · 2 Comments

Edgar Allan Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe My rating: 3 of 5 stars Calm block fallen down here from some dark disaster —Stéphane Mallarmé, “The … Continue reading

22 October 2016 · 1 Comment

Bob Dylan: A Nobel Note

Is mortifying Baby Boomer nostalgia something of which one could justly accuse a Swede? And I thought it was going to be my hero Don DeLillo’s year! At the most … Continue reading

13 October 2016 · Leave a comment

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley My rating: 2 of 5 stars Don’t ask me why I didn’t read Brave New World when I was sixteen the way everybody else … Continue reading

7 October 2016 · Leave a comment