Wrestling with the Particular

“That is a difficult problem; its difficulties press in upon me, who have gone through again and again the severe effort of trying to make certain ideas thoroughly incarnate, as if they had revealed themselves to me first in the flesh and not in the spirit. I think aesthetic teaching the highest of all teaching […]


Hart Crane’s The Broken Tower Read by Tennessee Williams


London 1934 by Wolfgang Suschitzky. Her cigarette. Her hat. And especially her eyes. (Courtesy of the wonderful Persephone Books website)


A Poem; A Prayer III

Even a bitter poem is a small act of affirmation, and I wonder if we can’t say the same thing about a meaningless poem (if such a thing exists). But Miłosz, who would most certainly disagree, is, to his immortal credit, a knight of faith, and I am but a knight of resignation. Like Kierkegaard: […]


My Favorite Typeface is 100 Years Old Today

Johnston, designed by Edward Johnston (with Eric Gill as apprentice) for the London Underground, 1913. (Source: typeworship.com)


A Poem; A Prayer II

“Whom do you pray to?” A friend asked me, once. “No one,” I replied. “Absolutely nothing.” We were eating fish and chips. I never pray. Why should one pray? What do you do? Supplicate? Haggle? Haggle with God? Maybe if my child were lying mortally ill behind a screen, I’d pray but it would be […]


Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood reading Wolfe’s The Hills Beyond to Dennis Hopper and Nick Adams during the filming of Rebel Without a Cause (Ralph Crane, 1956)


Scott, Zelda, & Scottie; Asheville

In the summer of 1936, F. Scott Fitzgerald was in his second year in Asheville. His daughter Scottie, away at boarding school, had written him to say she’d submitted a short story to a magazine but been rejected.  The story doesn’t survive but Fitzgerald’s response does: Grove Park Inn Asheville, N.C. October 20, 1936 Dearest […]