Category: Literature

From Page to Screen: The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth (poster)

Terry Pratchett has neatly ruined Macbeth‘s opening for me — the eldritch screech of “When shall we three meet again?” answered by a nonplussed “Well, I can do next Tuesday” — but Kathryn Hunter’s contortions in her role as the witches and Joel Coen’s creepy direction do much to restore the story’s uncanny atmosphere. The Tragedy …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/01/30/from-page-to-screen-the-tragedy-of-macbeth/

The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Diana Burgin & Katherine Tiernan O’Connor

with notes and an afterword by Ellendea Proffer, who is smart enough to put all her illuminating, excellent content at the end in order to avoid spoilers. That said, I rather wish there’d been a bit of footnoting to direct readers to this area, tho understand that this isn’t meant to be an annotated version. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/01/06/the-master-and-margarita-by-mikhail-bulgakov-translated-by-diana-burgin-katherine-tiernan-oconnor/

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

I read Invisible Cities ages ago when I worked for a bookstore in Atlanta and was reading more consciously literary things. I picked it up again recently thanks to a Twitter thread. Jo Walton had been doing a series of 50 manipulated images of Venice. As she wrote, “In honour of Italo Calvino’s Le Citta …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/11/14/invisible-cities-by-italo-calvino/

North by Brad Kessler

I read a lot of books where I praise the empathy displayed, but after reading Brad Kessler’s brilliant North, I realized that there’s another, rarer quality I appreciate even more in writing: the quality of compassion. It’s one thing to understand where another person’s pain is coming from, to find common ground no matter how …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/14/north-by-brad-kessler/

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

What would young Mexicans in the 1970s who cared about literature more than anything else be like? Roberto Bolaño gives at least one version in The Savage Detectives. The book is anything but a careful study. Over the course of its 577 pages, Bolaño pulls out nearly all of the stops (the book he truly …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/25/the-savage-detectives-by-roberto-bolano/

Songbirds by Christy Lefteri

Exceptionally moving novel that spotlights the harms of a practice that most people don’t even like to think about. I can seriously say that in all my years of reading, I’ve encountered maybe one entire other work of fiction that’s addressed this issue with honesty and compassion, Ovidia Yu’s terrific Meddling And Murder. That said, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/08/19/songbirds-by-christy-lefteri/

What You Can See from Here by Mariana Leky

Hey, Doug, I’m reading a novel translated from the German! Ably translated into English by Tess Lewis, who’s done a really good job, in particular, of getting the song lyrics from the 1980s not quite right when the characters are explaining them to one another. What You Can See From Here is an interesting sort …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/22/what-you-can-see-from-here-by-mariana-leky/

The Portrait Of A Mirror by A. Natasha Joukovsky

As someone who cherishes the idea of eventually writing fiction professionally one day, it is 100% infuriating to read books like this, books so elegant, so intelligent, so perfect and modern that it makes any effort I could possibly make feel superfluous. Having a healthy ego, I will get over my sheer envy in days, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/07/the-portrait-of-a-mirror-by-a-natasha-joukovsky/

Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein

I found this book shockingly, uncomfortably relatable, and would fight anyone to defend its heroine, the precocious 15 year-old Gracie Welles. I, too, was sent to a “prestigious” boarding school at that age by a well-meaning dad who didn’t really understand the realities of what I needed to survive it, and I too spent countless …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/27/slingshot-by-mercedes-helnwein/

Wintering Out by Seamus Heaney

Wintering Out by Seamus Heaney

Wintering Out struck me as even more oblique than Door into the Dark, and I often struggled to see and hear what Heaney was connecting with. Not that they have to be something that I can find on first reading, or even second or third. Wintering Out has the first appearance of Tollund Man, a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/07/wintering-out-by-seamus-heaney/