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Zach Davidson

is a contributor to the Brooklyn Rail.

Philippe Petit's On the High Wire

Philippe Petit’s On the High Wire (New Directions) is a slim handbook that is divided into twenty-four sections, ranging from “The Quest for Immobility” to “The High Wire Walker’s Salute” to “The King Poles” and, lastly, to “Fear.” Petit’s writing is frequently as nimble and as playful, as surprising and as unflinching, as his feats on the wire.

Natalia Ginzburg’s Voices in the Evening

The quest to deliver on behalf of someone else—alive or dead—shapes Natalia Ginzburg’s Voices in the Evening. Ginzburg’s novel begins in the wake of World War II, in a fictional Italian village, where the 27-year-old narrator, Elsa, and her mother are returning home from her mother’s doctor appointment.

Mark Kingwell: "Wish I Were Here"

Neoliberal boredom is the main focus of Wish I Were Here. It hinges on a kind of cannibalistic pointlessness, whereby we produce and consume ourselves at a cost of our own satisfaction by design. Because if we were satisfied—by scrolling, via swiping, through posting—our engagement with these respective platforms would end (at least temporarily), which would not be in the interest of their makers, of their shareholders, who, in this attention economy, covet our eyes, our thumbs, our clicks for all time.

Bohumil Hrabal's All My Cats

In Bohumil Hrabal’s memoir All My Cats, the limits—of empathy, of understanding, of life and death—are distended as Hrabal attempts to chart and to pilot the intense disgust he feels for a life that has, in his eyes, necessitated an outcome of violence.

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2022

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