How can a punishment fit a crime?
What’s not ill-suited to a wrong?
The pants will always be too long;
Sisyphus got his overtime,
But how irrelevant! being light
In a heavy, dark and wrenching wind
Didn’t drape well across the kind
Of shape poor dear Francesca’s tight
Little hot games with Paolo took.
Sagging, with their braces frayed,
The overkill, the underplayed
Will always have an ugly look.
John Hollander is the Sterling Professor of English at Yale. His most recent collection of poetry is A Draft of Light (Knopf, 2008).
Carmelita Tropicana with Ela Troyano
MAY 2022 | Critics Page
Art imitates life, though today a lot is the other way around. You always pushed the boundaries much before I did. You had vision and got us to relocate to the wild East Village in the eighties where crime and drugs made rents cheap and artists came in droves to a neighborhood that looked like a bombed-out Berlin after the war and performance clubs sprung up, operating with no licenses or city permits.
The Art of Eliminating a NationBy Shir Mohammad Karimi
NOV 2021 | Critics Page
What a pain to hear a young woman cry, a thousand wishes gone. A child weeps for the father he has lost. These children did not choose where to be born. And yet, here we are. They are paying the biggest cost for this war of the world. To be witness to the explosion of a bomb in front of the girls school; one can never imagine. Their only crime was the desire to learn. This picture should be a source of shame for the world; it is a pure pain for us.
Idolizing Systems: That Doesnt Sound RightBy Mieke Bal
DEC 21-JAN 22 | Critics Page
Veneration, respect, acceptance can turn thingsimages, but also systemsinto something live, real, and revered; certainly not questionable. I have recently read a novel, which was composed by SMS messages and emails sent piecemeal from a clandestine iPhone by an Iranian Kurdish journalist imprisoned for five years on Manus Island in Australia. His crime? Trying to save his life by escaping from Iran, seeking asylum in the land of freedom. The book won several awards in that same country that locked him up and tortured him. The New York Times calls the author, Behrouz Boochani, Australias most important writer.
John Banville’s April in SpainBy Joseph Peschel
OCT 2021 | Books
You dont need to have read or even know of the late Benjamin Blacks previous Quirke novels, set in the 1950s, to understand and enjoy April in Spain. Its an exciting page turner with plenty of dark and quirky characters. The cranky Irishmans crime fans will consider this the eighth novel in the Quirke series of crime novels, even though its written by the fellow who shut Black in a room with a pistol, a phial of sleeping pills and a bottle of Scotch.