Author Archive

Edward Snowden

By : October 24, 2013

Edward Snowden is another casualty, in the broadest sense of that word, of whatever Washington is now calling what used to be called the War on Terror, or the Long War. Like American soldiers and Afghan suicide bombers, Edward Snowden knew the personal risks and accepted them to serve what he considered a higher purpose. […]

Theatre review: God of Carnage

By : February 26, 2013

The Napa Playhouse just completed its run of Yasmina Reza’s 2009 play, God of Carnage, and they did very well. God of Carnage might have been aptly entitled A Delicate Balance, if Edward Albee had not already used that for another play with a similar thematic interest. Albee’s play uneasily reveals the fragile, delicate balance […]

The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry

By : September 10, 2012

For poets, one of the best prophylactics against staleness and provincialism is a nice, plump anthology of poems translated from another culture. We welcome The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry and The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry in part for easing our access to a remarkably wide range of poetry arguably more […]

Michael Casey’s Check Points poetry

By : August 9, 2012

Michael Casey has once again offered his readers a collection of amusing, deceptively simple poems about daily life as a military policeman during the Viet Nam War, in Check Points, published by Gary Metras’s Adastra Press, 2011. Unlike many contemporary books of poetry (books that gather unrelated poems, loaded with enough filler to remind me […]

Theatre Review: O’Neill’s The Early Plays

By : February 19, 2012

Richard Maxwell’s February 2012 production of The Early Plays (three Eugene O’Neill one-acts) at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, in cooperation with The Wooster Group, seems to me baffling and unsuccessful. The plays themselves are very weak and very dated. They lack effective central themes, relying instead on the novelty (a century ago) of a […]

Theatre Review: Krapp’s Last Tape

By : December 19, 2011

By far the best theatre I have seen in years is Krapp’s Last Tape, performed by John Hurt in a production created by the Gate Theatre in Dublin and brought to Washington, D.C., and the Brooklyn Academy of Music for a brief run in November and December of 2011. John Hurt in the Gate production […]

Theatre Review: Julius Caesar

By : August 1, 2011

Briefly playing in New York as part of the 2011 Lincoln Center Festival, The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Julius Caesar is an energetic version that emphasizes mise en scene rather than the text, and thus emphasizes the outsize political consequences of political power struggles. Personally, I prefer emphasis on language to spectacle, but spectacle […]

Film Review: Tied to a Chair

By : May 29, 2011

I found this quirky comedy quite entertaining. Tied to a Chair tells a story about how relentlessly an actor can pursue artistic fulfillment, or maybe just a job. The film follows the opening adventures of a middle aged woman responding to a mid-life crisis. Naomi, who gave up hopes of a theatre career to marry […]

Film Review: Octubre

By : May 18, 2011

The fine reviewer for The Village Voice, J. Hoberman, sees Octubre as an “exploration of a potentially redemptive male midlife crisis.” There is something to this view, of course. Surely many people have found themselves one day at the dining room table wondering how they ended up in a family accreted by the addition of […]

Book Review: Why Translation Matters

By : May 18, 2011

In her recently published Why Translation Matters, one of our finest translators, Edith Grossman, expands her three Yale talks to provide a fascinating look at her theory and praxis, while scolding the publishing world. My full review of Why Translation Matters is available at Cerise Press. Cerise Press is one of my favorite on-line publishers […]