Chatterley on Trial

Lady Chatterley’s Loverby d. h. lawrencemacmillan, 432 pages, $12.99 Six weeks after a London criminal court permitted the unexpurgated publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover on November 2, 1960, a forlorn rearguard action took place in the crimson and gold chamber of the House of Lords, then . . . . Continue Reading »

How Much Dreiser Does a Man Need?

Theodore Dreiser is ranked among our great authors; he was a syllabus mainstay for as polished a master as Saul Bellow. Yet he is neither among the great English-language prose stylists nor a writer of nuanced or profound moral vision. His idea of human life was crudely mechanical and deterministic. . . . . Continue Reading »

Big Mullah

2084: The End of the World by boualem sansal translated by alison anderson europa editions, 240 pages, $17 Sleep soundly, good people, everything is sheer falsehood, and the rest is under control.” So begins Boualem Sansal’s new novel, 2084. The author, an Algerian secularist, has . . . . Continue Reading »

Rare and Common Sense

Simon Leys:  Navigator Between Worlds by philippe paquet translated by julie rose la trobe, 720 pages, $59.99 It is a curious fact that Communist dictatorships were at their most popular among Western intellectuals while they still had the courage of their brutality. Once they settled down to . . . . Continue Reading »

Shock of the Real

Journey to the Land of the Real:  A Translation of Equipée by victor segalen translated by natasha lehrer atlas, 136 pages, $17.20 The death of Victor Segalen (January 14, 1878–May 21, 1919) was perhaps an enviable one. This is not to say that it was not also tragic: He was still quite . . . . Continue Reading »

Caribbean Rhapsode

The great poet of the Caribbean, Derek Walcott, passed away at home on his native island of St. Lucia on March 17. It is hard to summarize his achievement. He wrote more than twenty books of poetry, most notably Omeros (1990), which transplants the Trojan War to the Caribbean fishing world . . . . Continue Reading »