A Window Onto the World: Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words

In Murakami’s novels, we confront talking cats, slow-witted savants, teenage runaways, rain-smeared windows, jazz and Beatles songs, and the harrowing depths of dark wells.  A popular novelist, frequently nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, we have reason to ask: How does Murakami’s writing connect to readers?  Why are we so incredibly fascinated with his […]

On Murakami’s Writing Discipline

I recently finished re-reading Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, the author’s homage to the classic Beatles’s song as it pervades his character’s lives–Japanese college students in 1960′s Tokyo.  The novel is a delightful read and a page-turner.  As it turns out, it was one of Murakami’s favorite novels to write. But what makes the novel a page […]

Last Words on Seamus Heaney

From an email correspondence by Kevin Whelan: Today I want to remember Seamus the poet rather than Seamus the friend.  Seamus always regarded his poetic talent as a gift: something given to him, something that expressed itself and breathed through him “the original meaning of inspiration.” Peter Fallon read his poem ‘The Given Note’ at his funeral Mass […]

An Unwritten Novel: Fernando Pessoa’s ‘The Book of Disquiet’

Published in the Portuguese American Journal: Thomas J. Cousineau’s scholarly expertise on twentieth-century literary modernism informs his new critical study An Unwritten Novel: Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet (Dalkey Archive 2013).  Cousineau offers us an informed introduction to a leading document of modernism that serves scholarly interests and undergraduate teaching needs. After earning a […]

The Merits of the London Review of Books

When I wake up too early on weekend mornings I frequently read interviews at the Paris Review.  Have you seen their interviews archive? You can read really cool interviews by any number of your favorite writers.  Borges, Heaney, Vendler, Vonnegut… the list goes on.  The interviews span 50 + years.  Want to learn about writing, the […]