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

Rosario Ferré: Reaching the Center

"Reaching the Center" was featured in PEN America 1: Classics, and was presented at a centenary celebration of Jorge Luis Borges, sponsored by the PEN Forums Committee and the New… More

Virginia Woolf’s Forgetful Selves

Readers either worship or denigrate Virginia Woolf’s use of stream of consciousness. I will admit that there are times when her characters’ mental ambling can seem frustratingly opaque, and… More

Invigorating Life

A Room of One’s Own must be the most popular book title that any author has ever written. Since its publication in 1929, Virginia Woolf’s witty manifesto has not… More

Bodies of Knowledge

The Waves is Virginia Woolf’s most difficult book. It is a difficult book by any standards, and its difficulty and its greatness are intertwined. Part of the difficulty is… More

The Imaginary Real

Pieces ranging from the metaphysical to the fanciful to the concrete to the comical are all realistic, in that they show us more about what it is to be… More

Thrown Voices: Richard Howard & Susan Sontag

SUSAN SONTAG: I think of Richard Howard as a very central figure in our culture, maintaining and giving eloquent voice and illustration to standards that are in peril today.… More

Aerial Maneuvers

Calvino's The Baron in the Trees, the book of his I love most, has accompanied me through life as a sort of moral and political manifesto. It may seem… More

Michael Cunningham: First Love

"First Love," by Michael Cunningham, appears in PEN America 1: Classics. This talk was originally presented at a tribute to Virginia Woolf, sponsored by the PEN Forums Committee, at Town… More

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