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On John Berger, Art, Power, Etc

My latest column is up at Literary Hub. It all touched off from a remarkable quote that I found in an essay of John Berger’s, collected in the volume Keeping a Rendezvous. I think the zing in that quote come from these words, ” I know too that the powerful fear art, whatever its form, when it does this . . .”

I don’t have a ton to add on top of that. I think I mostly said what I had to say in the column, and I think I managed to get it all out rather well in that space. So, you should go have a look.

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


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 . . .


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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