Barry Schwabsky

Post image for Reader’s Diary: Lorraine Lupo’s ‘By Way Of’

Cards on the table: I prefer short poems to long ones, slender bodies of work to massive ones. So naturally, I consider the best way to read poetry is not in a book, but in a chapbook.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Kristin Ross’s ‘May ’68 and Its Afterlives’

Some thought the Arab Spring could not have happened without social media. But the necessity makes the means and not vice versa. May ’68 didn’t need Facebook. They had transistor radios.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: ‘Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy’

No one writes letters anymore, but I still like reading them — especially when both sides of a correspondence are collected between two covers. No narrative, no argument — just the mercurial yet implicit unity of a relationship. Still, I’m not sure why I picked up this book.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Edward St. Aubyn’s ‘The Patrick Melrose Novels’ (Continued)

When I left off last week I was halfway through this quartet of low-life-in-the-midst-of-high-life novels, dissatisfied with the series’ prelude, Never Mind, but encouraged by the relative superiority of book two, Bad News.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Edward St. Aubyn’s ‘The Patrick Melrose Novels’

To begin reading a contemporary novel isn’t easy, if you’re not in the habit.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Franklin Bruno’s ‘Armed Forces’

I keep wondering whether it’s really possible to write at length and in depth about this kind of music.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Daniel Hoffman’s ‘Next to Last Words’

On its last day of existence — or, more particularly, on a day after its last day, when it reopened just for this purpose — the St. Mark’s Bookshop sold off all of its remaining stock at $2 a copy.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Maurizio Lazzarato’s ‘The Making of the Indebted Man’

Debt is the crux where economics and morality intersect.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Mary Mothersill’s ‘Beauty Restored’

Last summer I found this copy of a book I’d long been curious about on the “discard” shelves of the East Hampton Library.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Juliana Spahr’s ‘That Winter the Wolf Came’

Poetry not always but periodically seeks its upper limit — music, as readers of Louis Zukofsky know — and that includes Juliana Spahr’s.

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