Among the Turnips

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

In the case of some novelists, such as Flaubert, Proust, James, Woolf and Kafka, letters are an essential part of their literary output. With others, such as Austen, Dickens and Joyce, they are an invaluable supplement to the published works. With most, however, letters are primarily of documentary rather than literary value. This is true […]

Friends & Strangers

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Ever since Patricia Highsmith published her first novel, Strangers on a Train, in 1950, her name has been synonymous with refined and subtle malevolence. Alfred Hitchcock’s unnerving 1951 adaptation of her thriller, featuring two men who undertake to ‘exchange murders’, immediately put Highsmith country on the map. In its shifting landscape, an apparent surface normality […]

I Shall Wear Austin Reed

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

T S Eliot’s sojourn in purgatory shows little sign of coming to an end. He has been at the sharp edge of feminist critique for a while, most recently in a series of essays examining The Waste Land from the perspective of the #MeToo movement. Moreover, the opening last year of the archive in Princeton […]

In the End, She Preferred Sartre

Posted on by David Gelber

It started with ardour and ended in bitterness, this affair which Simone de Beauvoir described as ‘the only truly passionate love in my life’. Documented in more than three hundred letters, her affair with the American writer Nelson Algren introduced her to the physical pleasure she had never found with Jean-Paul Sartre – and threatened […]

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