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« "What Men Want" [by James Cummins] | Main | Harry Mathews, "Cool gales shall fan the glades," a sestina [by Harry Mathews, Feb 14, 1930 - January 25, 2017] »

February 12, 2021


Thank you for this insightful history. We tend to forget the past when we're in the midst of our own crises.

Very informative and well argued. I enjoyed reading this piece and will look forward to rereading it as well.

Janet Lewis's 1941 novella "The Wife of Martin Guerre" is a page-turning account as well, based on the author's research into the legal history of circumstantial evidence. Lewis apparently drafted a libretto for an opera based on her book, which seems to have been produced in the mid-1950s. Today's routine sci-fi transformations and DNA testing may rob whatever version of the story you find of its full psychological power; even so, I do recommend Lewis's version for its elegant storytelling and its burnished sentences, not to speak of its searing conclusion, different from other fictional retellings. Natalie Zemon Davis's nonfictional account is very good as a reality check.
The memory of the musical came to you in a dream? Whoa. Impressive!

I agree with you Mindy about Janet Lewis's novella, which I read many years ago,along with The Trial of Soren Qvist, also by Lewis. She was a wonderful writer who deserves to be recognized and celebrated for her meticulous research and, as you correctly point out, her elegant storytelling and burnished sentences. Thank you for mentioning her here. Stacey

Another great piece. Loved this.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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