The [Insert Superlative Here] Books of 2011: My Year in Reading

I recently, and much belatedly, got around to reading Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism. It’s brilliant—not a word I use easily—and really deserves its own post, but there is a point on which Frye and I disagree, in practice if not in theory.  “The demonstrable value-judgement,” he claims in his introduction, “is the donkey’s carrot [...]

Heinrich Böll, Postwar Penitent

I have a piece on Heinrich Böll up at the Barnes & Noble Review, prompted by Melville House’s re-release of his “essential” works.  If you have to pick one, read The Clown.
The German Nobel Laureate Heinrich Böll, for whatever reason, has never enjoyed wide recognition on American shores. No less political than Grass, no less [...]

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