The End of Oulipo?

The End of Oulipo? My book (co-authored with Lauren Elkin), published by Zero Books. Available everywhere. Order it from Amazon, or find it in bookstores nationwide. The End of Oulipo

Lady Chatterley’s Brother

Lady Chatterley's Brother. The first ebook in the new TQC Long Essays series, Lady Chatterley's Brothercalled “an exciting new project” by Chad Post of Open Letter and Three Percent. Why can't Nicholson Baker write about sex? And why can Javier Marias? We investigate why porn is a dead end, and why seduction paves the way for the sex writing of the future. Read an excerpt.

Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and direct from this site:


Translate This Book!

Ever wonder what English is missing? Called "a fascinating Life Perecread" by The New Yorker, Translate This Book! brings together over 40 of the top translators, publishers, and authors to tell us what books need to be published in English. Get it on Kindle.

For low prices on Las Vegas shows visit LasVegas.ShowTickets.com

You Say

Group Reads

The Tunnel

Fall Read: The Tunnel by William H. Gass

A group read of the book that either "engenders awe and despair" or "[goads] the reader with obscenity and bigotry," or both. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Naked Singularity

Summer Read: A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava

Fans of Gaddis, Pynchon, DeLillo: A group read of the book that went from Xlibris to the University of Chicago Press. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Life Perec

Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec

Starting March 2011, read the greatest novel from an experimental master. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Last Samurai

Fall Read: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

A group read of one of the '00s most-lauded postmodern novels. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Tale of Genji

The Summer of Genji

Two great online lit magazines team up to read a mammoth court drama, the world's first novel.

Your Face Tomorrow

Your Face This Spring

A 3-month read of Javier Marias' mammoth book Your Face Tomorrow

Shop though these links = Support this site


Ten Memorable Quotes from William Gaddis’ Letters

New Books
Here are ten of my favorite moments from these hugely interesting letters.


Interviews from Conversational Reading

New Books
See this page for interviews with leading authors, translators, publishers, and more.


  • A Legacy by Sybille Bedford March 15, 2015
    Sybille Bedford had the benefit—or bad fortune, however you see it—of being born into the German aristocracy in 1911. Her father was a retired lieutenant colonel and art collector from the agrarian south, from a Roman Catholic family in fiscal decline. Her mother came from a wealthy German-Jewish family from Hamburg. A widower from his first marriage, Bedfor […]
  • Reviving Antal Szerb March 15, 2015
    Antal Szerb’s lithe, lively, and wholly endearing fiction is peopled by male dreamers on spiritual journeys of self-discovery. Each one sets out on his respective mini-mission with good intentions but knows from the outset that there are only so many harsh truths he can withstand. In this respect, all Szerb’s protagonists seem to have heeded the advice of Gr […]
  • 39 Africans Walk into a Bar March 15, 2015
    New anthologies of African fiction seem to materialize virtually every year, if not more often in recent years. When presented with the physical fact of yet another new anthology of African fiction, the immediate question, one which I was asked when I pressed the warm, bound pages of the Africa39 anthology into the even warmer hands of a new acquaintance, wa […]
  • The Country Road by Regina Ullmann March 15, 2015
    This collection of short stories, her first to appear in English, counters material poverty with a fulfilling and deeply spiritual relationship with the natural world. Ullmann herself was no stranger to hardship. A depressive, she was plagued by personal and professional crises. Financial constraints forced her to send her illegitimate children to the countr […]
  • The Fall of Language in the Age of English by Minae Mizumura March 14, 2015
    The Fall of Language in the Age of English stirred up debate upon its publication in Japan in 2008, and it’s possible it will do so in the U.S. with its arrival in Mari Yoshihara and Juliet Winters Carpenter's translation. In their introduction, Yoshihara and Winters Carpenter, point out that Japanese reviewers accused Mizumura of being a jingoist, an e […]
  • Another View: Tracing the Foreign in Literary Translation by Eduard Stoklosinski March 14, 2015
    Another View demonstrates exciting potential in translation study and praxis. It is especially significant in deconstructing assumptions about fluency and linguistic identity. The author makes some persuasive arguments for considering and even preferring non-native translation of texts, the most controversial of which is the possibility that linguistic compe […]
  • The Latest Five from Dalkey Archive’s “Library of Korea” Series March 14, 2015
    Despite South Korea having the kind of vibrant literary scene you'd expect from a country with one of the highest literacy rates in the world, we're still not exactly inundated with English translations of South Korean fiction. Given this dearth, Dalkey Archive Press's Library of Korean Literature series, twenty five titles published in collab […]
  • B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal by J.C. Hallman March 14, 2015
    here’s a conspicuous history of books that simply should not work: Books like U & I by Nicholson Baker, a book-length exercise in “memory criticism,” where Baker traces Updike’s influence on his own writing life while studiously not actually re-reading any of Updike’s books. Or books like Out of Sheer Rage, Geoff Dyer’s book that procrastinates away from […]
  • The Valerie Miles Interview March 14, 2015
    The idea was to uncover the secret life of these texts, why do their creators consider them their best work? What’s the clandestine, the underground, the surreptitious meaning or attachment? Where’s the kernel, the seed from which a body of work grew, what the driving obsession? Is it something sentimental, something technical, maybe even something spiritual […]
  • On Being Blue by William H. Gass March 14, 2015
    Look up at the sky, or down into the ocean, and what color do you see? We see blue, but not Homer—he never once employs the term throughout The Iliad and The Odyssey, famously calling the sea "wine-dark" and the heavens "bronze." Neither did the Greek philosopher Xenophanes say blue—he described the rainbow as having only three colors. Th […]

Clarice Lispector Coverage–Where’s the Beef?

I understand that Lorrie Moore's article in the NY Review is ostensibly covering a biography, but nonetheless I see six novels by Lispector below the title and two serious works of criticism about Lispector below those, and thus I develop certain expectations. That is, expectations for some textual and/or aesthetic analysis of Lispector's novels. (This is the New York Review, after all.) But that is in very short supply in this article.

I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. And I don't mean this to be just a criticism of Moore. For some reason people have actually been talking about Clarice Lispector because of this biography. It seems that reviewers have gone out of their way to enthuse about great she is, and how under-appreciated she is in the U.S. That's nice and all, but damned if anyone has shown very much interest in engaging her books in these reviews. And thus I develop the sneaking suspicion that some of these people giving off the impression that they have read Lispector haven't. (Shocking, I know)

Completely by coincidence (I didn't know the biography was in the works when the essay was assigned) we've just published an essay on Lispector that does consider one of her works to a significant degree. So, if you find yourself in my position, give that a shot.

You Might Also Like:

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. Dwight Garner on Clarice Lispector If I was Benjamin Moser, I’d kinda be feeling all like “I wrote a biography of Clarice Lispector and the Times gave it to Dwight...
  2. New Lispector Bio Chad mentions a new biography of Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. One of the fall books that I’m really looking forward to is Benjamin Moser’s...
  3. Bolano’s Major and Minor Novels I usually try not to quibble with small details in otherwise coherent book reviews, but I've seen this more than once, and it deserves to...
  4. Photography Criticism This is a nice essay on photography criticism. The great exception to all this is photography criticism. There, you will hear precious little talk of...
  5. Fall Issue of The Quarterly Conversation We’ve just published the 17th issue of The Quarterly Conversation. The TOC is below. If you appreciate what we do and are in a position...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

3 comments to Clarice Lispector Coverage–Where’s the Beef?

  • I, too, (when I suggested and offered to try to do a essay on Clarice Lispector for The Quarterly Conversation months ago and Scott graciously accepted my proposal,) wasn’t aware of the recent biography. I am embarassed to admit so. I think I was more dismayed by Dwight Garner’s sardonic, flippant take on Lispector in the New York Times, though. Garner clearly never read her work but was mocking Lispector’s seriousness in ways that truly offended me, citing instances based her private psychology which I believe to be false. That kind of snide remarking and belitting of a writer without even considering her body of work pushes all my buttons and is really troubling. One would hope rather dismiss this wonderful biography The New York Times reviewer would support and applaud it for bringing an important and neglected writer to public awareness. And done so with humility, not ridicule.
    By way of suggestion and alternative, Philip Graham wrote a remarkably responsible and astute review of Mosley’s biography in THE NEW LEADER. I hope readers will find it. Phil also wrote me when this essay came out to tell me about his review of the biography which he thought very, very highly of. Phil’s recent articles in THE BELIEVER were about his year in Portugal and he has a really impressive take on Lispector who wrote in Portugese.
    Sorry if I sound so touchy, but it hurts when there is a writer of Lispector’s importance who gets such treatment in the “literary press”. I did, though, understand again why her work is difficult for people in the States, in Brazil she’s a national heroine, and she is lauded and celebrated all around the world, too.

  • Muzzy

    I can’t remember where I first heard about Lispector, probably read something online, mayby you, Snr. Esposito. So on August 12 I ordered The Passion According to G.H. from Amazon. To date, they still haven’t shipped it. In fact, they say they’re not sure exactly when they will ship it. I’m hoping this isn’t just incompetence on Amazon’s part.
    Which suggests to me that there’s enough demand out there for her books to sell out. Which tells me SOMEONE out there is reading Lispector.

  • Muzzy, I hope you receive it and enjoy her. There’s a wonderful one-line book store called BookDepository.com, run by Mark Thwaite where I’m sure, too, you can find her work just in case amazon doesn’t come through. It started in the UK but recently started up a branch in the States, (also they ship for free!)
    I think, too, there are more people here that do want to read her, and her books are hard to get hold of and find.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>