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Soft Skull’s New Faces

On a recent afternoon at 71 Bond Street in downtown Brooklyn, two dozen people crammed together to attend a poetry reading at Shortwave, the new bookstore and headquarters of Soft Skull Press.

In Conversation

JEDEDIAH PURDY with Charles Wilson

Jedediah Purdy's first book, For Common Things: Irony, Trust and Commitment in America Today, argued that America's political and social life had become tainted by ironic detachment.

Notes on Priapism

The Immortalists by Richard Cummings

Silky Fetishes

A Spy in Amnesia is a chewy novel—if you can call it a novel.

Geisha, A Life

So, what was is the life of a geisha really like? Not the made up fantasy of a Western man’s best seller on the subject, but an authentic geisha, or “artist” in Japanese.

Inspire Me, Baby

The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired by Francine Prose, HarperCollins (2002)

All Day Permanent Red

Christopher Logue is a modern rhapsode. Students of Greek antiquity will know that rhapsodes were professional performers of epic poetry. Splendidly attired, they dramatized the deeds of long-dead heroes and immortal gods, as portrayed by Homer and his like, before private audiences and at public festivals.

Regarding the Pain of Others

In a media environment where all images are apportioned to partisan arguments— unreasonable and unthinking—Susan Sontag’s mission to resume a more considered meditation on photography is a noble one.

Under the Shade of a Myrtle Tree with Horace

In the Divine Comedy, Dante encounters the ancient poets suspended in limbo, the first circle of hell: Homer the supreme poet, Horace the satirist, Ovid, and Lucan. It’s a shame Dante doesn’t describe Horace as a lyric poet, for the four books of the Odes are arguably his most loved and well-known poems.

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JUN-JUL 2003

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