Category Archives: tqc favorites 2012

TQC Favorites of 2012: Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson reviewed The Planets by Sergio Chejfec in the Winter 2013 issue.

Reiner Stach, KAFKA: THE DECISIVE YEARS
The first volume of Stach’s three-volume biography is already one of the finest I’ve read in years. Here is a portrait of an artist at work, in love, and in strife. Highly recommended not only readers of modernity’s master, but for those who want to see what one can do through the art of biography.

Sergio Chejfec, MY TWO WORLDS
The inner world spilling into the outer, and the outer crowding its way into the world, Chejfec turns a short afternoon’s walk in a foreign city (not to mention short novel) into a philosophical epic.

Clarice Lispector, THE PASSION ACCORDING TO G.H.
My favorite of New Directions’ 2012 retranslations. As much a description as an evocation of a mystical experience for the modern, unbelieving age.

Mary Ruefle, MADNESS, RACK, AND HONEY
Ruefle’s lectures on poetry are a marvel and are as stirring as her best poetry. The breadth of her reading and reference alone are something to behold. With wit and humility, she inhabits poetry as a kind of possibility.

Karl Ove Knausgaard, MY STRUGGLE
I devoured Knausgaard’s novel/memoir in two cross-country plane rides. I do not know if he can possibly maintain in the subsequent five volumes, but I’ve never been so eager to find out. With a painstaking (& often painful) eye for minute detail, Knausgaard’s retelling of even the mundane shimmers. Playful, frank, and heartbreaking, his self-revelations are apt to render the reader all the more exposed.

TQC Favorites of 2012

We’ve polled a number of editors and contributors to The Quarterly Conversation for the favorite reads of the year, and we will be rolling them out over the rest of the year, starting today. So, enjoy.

THE SURRENDER

The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


LADY CHATTERLEY'S BROTHER

Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


THE LATIN AMERICAN MIXTAPE

5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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