Month: April 2019

  • Deaths in Venice

    In the beginning, there was the novella by Thomas Mann. Published in 1912, it tells the story of Gustave Aschenbach, a writer in the throes of a creative crisis. He needs to get away from stifling Munich. He goes to Venice where he meets 14 year old Tadzio, a child so innocent his mother has […]

  • Mass: Formulae

    Formulae is the theme I chose for last weekend’s edition of VERSO, Amsterdam’s live literary journal. In my role as guest editor, I got to choose the line-up and present my own editorial. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here it is (now cleaned up for publication). Household Gods When I was a […]

  • Mouthfeel

    Everywhere I turn, the word mouthfeel pops up. I see it in my Twitter feed. I hear it bandied about by my foodie friends. It shows up in my reading. Like in “Biter”, a short story by Kristen Roupenian in her debut collection You Know You Want This. Ellie is a biter. She is an […]

  • Fever & Famine

    I knew Dad had enlisted as a soldier in the Chinese Army during the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. He told me how very lucky he had been to escape seeing any combat. On my last visit to Los Angeles, he told my kids much more about his war experience. That his unit in Kunming was somehow […]