April 13, 2019

Review: Rabindranath Tagore, Selected Poems

By Amit Majmudar

Tagore, Rabindranath. Selected Poems. Translated by William Radice. Penguin Modern Classics (India), 208 pages.   Some writers write different things the same way over and over again. All of Emily […]

May 7, 2015

How the West Inverted its Literary Values

By Amit Majmudar

In a true missing-the-forest-for-the-trees phenomenon, modern literary criticism has left unremarked, to my knowledge at least, the totally anomalous body of “great literature” that has come out of Europe and […]

January 2, 2015

When Goethe Met Napoleon

By Amit Majmudar

  During Napoleon’s 1808 campaign in Germany, he visited his favorite author, Goethe. The two giants of the age met twice, once at Weimar and once at Erfurt. Andrew Roberts’s […]

October 29, 2013

The Twenty-Year Rule

By Amit Majmudar

  Just as there is a sharp division between a 19th century Yeats (the “Celtic Twilight” material) and a deliberately developed, 20th century Yeats (the “Byzantine” Yeats of the more […]

October 19, 2012

Now or Never: The Writer and the Age

By Amit Majmudar

One thing that’s underestimated about writing is how now-or-never it is, how suddenly it crowds out of a few people. Many of the most powerful, permanent “ages” in literature have […]

August 22, 2012

A selected history of selective history

By Andrew David King

For the past few weeks I’ve been reading John McPhee’s 1994 book The Ransom of Russian Art, a slim work of immersion journalism that recounts the adventures of Norton Dodge, […]

August 7, 2012

On “Literary Fiction” and “Genre”

By Amit Majmudar

If you look at Wikipedia’s list of the bestselling fiction writers of all time, you’ll notice that the majority are English-language authors of the 20th century. So Barbara Cartland’s on […]

June 24, 2012

Riff on Goethe

By Amit Majmudar

Versatility is the least of poetic virtues. It may seem an impressive sign of poetic prowess to be able to turn out a poem on any subject, in any of […]