Confessional poetry—particularly work that deals with the end of a relationship—is exceptionally tricky to pull off without coming across as navel-gazing and self-centered. Edith, however, is a remarkable work of pathos, using the inward gaze to illuminate both the self and everything around that self.
We don’t owe it to anyone to make our writing nice, or easy, or palatable. Maybe we should start asking ourselves who we’re protecting when we pan away, and why we’re protecting them.
The portrait these letters paint of an artist trying to hone his craft at all costs transforms them from obscure Proustiana into a richer portrait of Proust the man, neighbor, and writer.
Written in 1958 but given due packaging in a new book from Song Cave, Lionel Ziprin’s “Songs for Schizoid Siblings” are, at the simplest assessment, a historical oddity.
I am going to write in praise of the small. Not the miniature, which is an inverse of the monumental and thus, in its own way, monumental.