Thursday, June 13, 2013

literary links (staying AWAY from Tumblr)

Elizabeth Showalter on captivity narratives: Although modern Gothic novels narrated by psychopathic men, like John Fowles’s thriller “The Collector” (1963), have inspired actual crimes, the genre of the captivity narrative is very different. Rather than focusing obsessively on women’s helplessness, sexual vulnerability and terror, these books are testaments to women’s courage, resourcefulness and strength.

The Great (Gay) Novelist You’ve Never Heard Of: Great war novels inevitably follow great wars, and in literary circles following World War II, everyone was wondering what would be the successors to “A Farewell to Arms” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” — and who would write them. But when John Horne Burns, age 29, in his small dormitory suite at the Loomis School in Windsor, Conn., on the night of April 23, 1946 (Shakespeare’s birthday, at that), finished “The Gallery” — “I fell across my Underwood and wept my heart out,” he later recalled — he was convinced he had done just that, and more. “ ‘The Gallery,’ I fear, is one of the masterpieces of the 20th century,” he wrote a friend. 

Invisible Men: GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — The prison library here is housed in a prefabricated building behind chain-link fencing and razor wire inside Camp Delta, an older, largely disused wing of the complex. Inside, the place has the feel of a branch library, with several rooms of books divided by language and genre — but its patrons may not browse the stacks. Instead, the chief librarian, a civilian who asks to be identified as “Milton” for security reasons, or an aide fills plastic bins with about 50 books and takes them to each cellblock once a week. If they obey prison rules, the 166 detainees may peer at the spines through the slots in their doors and check out two titles at a time, or make specific requests.