The Most Insidious Censorship: A Conversation

K. ANTHONY APPIAH: As member’s of PEN’s Freedom-to-Write Committee, we’re heirs to a tradition of worrying mostly about the role of governments in restricting access to information, which is… More

How Should One Read a Book?

In the first place, I want to emphasize the note of interrogation at the end of my title. Even if I could answer the question for myself, the answer… More

First Love

Mrs. Dalloway is the first great book I ever read. I was fifteen, a not very promising student at a not very good public high school in Southern California,… More

The Play’s the Thing: A Discussion

BEGINNINGSCHARLES MEE: I had polio when I was a kid, and up until I was fifteen I had never read anything but comic books. Then a high school English… More

The Real Story: Literary Fact and Fiction

CHARLES MCGRATH: It seems fair to say that we’re living in an age of porosity; the traditional boundaries between fact and fiction have become permeable, with factual narratives borrowing techniques… More

One-Legged Walter

One-Legged WalterHe always made me wonder.Eyes crow-footed from sun,on snow.Body slumped,from slack times.He lived in Sullivan’s junk-yard,in a gutted ’51 Chevy.On the floorboard,tattered blankets, neatly sewn together,made his bed.Sunkist… More

Nothing Simple

After his death, when I visited Buenos Aries with my wife, Paula Cooper, it was remarkable to stay in a hotel next door to a building that Borges once… More

1,001 Laughs

1,001 LaughsBack in the thirties, Borges worked for an Argentinean womens’ magazine called El Hogar—a magazine of middle-class attitudes and presumptions, roughly similar to Redbook in America today. I… More

Language of Labyrinth

A young aspiring writer, I discovered the work of Borges at about the same time that I began to read Beckett. Neither of these writers indicated directions I believed… More

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