Suggestive rather than definitive, which is only to be expected with such an expansive topic.



The latest in the publisher's The Art Of... series, compact books exploring the writer's craft, this one addresses the variety, power and challenges of intimacy.

Highly regarded novelist D’Erasmo (Creative Writing/Columbia Univ.; The Sky Below, 2009, etc.) focuses mainly, though not exclusively, on literary fiction. “Like looking directly at the sun, looking directly at the creation of intimacy in fiction seems like a dangerous business,” she writes. It certainly can be risky in the work of D.H. Lawrence, for example, yet D'Erasmo notes that for Lawrence, “intimacy—usually, though not always, sexual intimacy between men and women—is actually not so much a way in as a way out of the prison house of self, of place, of circumstance and into a larger, even a much larger, consciousness.” She is every bit as interested in nonsexual intimacy: as expressed in the “tentative, subjunctive, speculative” narratives of William Maxwell or in the “complicity” between writer and reader in novels by Italo Calvino and Percival Everett. Those are among the better-known names mentioned here (along with Virginia Woolf and Joan Didion); most readers will not be familiar with a good deal of the fiction D'Erasmo so intimately dissects. Broad-based appeal is not her primary goal; indeed, she is dismissive of “the ubiquitousness, the cheapness even, of intimacy as a modern ideal....A particularly modern, faux-sincere, kitsch intimacy sells everything from afternoon talk shows to pictures on Instagram to Facebook’s endlessly mined personal information, so glittering to retailers.” This instant intimacy scants the complexities investigated in serious fiction, where “[i]ntimacy...can be rendered as a space between that is as close as a breath or as great as a century.”

Suggestive rather than definitive, which is only to be expected with such an expansive topic.

Pub Date: July 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55597-647-7

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Graywolf

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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