October/November 2003

The Pleasures & Peculiar Status of the Historical Novel: The Voyages of Patrick O'Brian

D.W. Fenza

"Outside the exact sciences, scarcely anything worth saying can be said except by indirection."


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The Winnowing of Wildness: On First Book Contests and Style

Beth Ann Fennelly

Fusion Cuisine chef Sottha Kuhn was profiled in The New Yorker, July 23, 2001, by Molly O'Neill, who begins with background on the culinary arts. "It takes about ten years to become a chef," she explains, "to master the ways of the knife, the inner life of ingredients, and the vicissitudes of heat, and then to hone the knowledge until it lives in the hands." O'Neill writes that by the time she met Kuhn, "he was midway through his second decade, the time when a chef's personal style begins to emergeÉ His effort to create a distinct signature was still tentative."


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The Treasure Trove of Metaphor: More on Poetry Anthologies

Rachel Hadas
Nineteenth-century poetry anthologists often use the front matter of their books to evoke the beauties and moral benefits of poetry. Twentieth-century prefaces and introductions vary from the understated to the apologetic, irascible, or confessional.

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Truth in Art

Ronald Goldfarb

Is there truth in art? Two recent articles offered interesting reflections on this idea, one in the context of photography and the other in literature.


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An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin

Ramola D

Born in 1929 in Berkeley, California, daughter of writer Theodora Kroeber and anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber, Ursula Kroeber Le Guin lives in Portland, Oregon. She is married to historian Charles A. Le Guin. She graduated with a BA from Radcliffe College in 1951, and an MA in French and Italian Renaissance Literature from Columbia University in 1952.


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An Interview with Larry Levis

Michael White

Larry Patrick Levis was born in Fresno, California, on September 30, 1946; his father was a farmer. He earned a bachelor's degree from Fresno State College (now California State University) in 1968; a master's degree from Syracuse University in 1970; and a PhD from the University of Iowa in 1974. His first book of poems, Wrecking Crew (1972), won the United States Award from the International Poetry Forum. His second book, The Afterlife (1976), was the Lamont Poetry Selection of the American Academy of Poets. In 1981, The Dollmaker's Ghost was a winner of the Open Competition of the National Poetry Series. Among his other awards were a YM-YWHA Discovery award, three fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He taught English at the University of Missouri from 1974-1980; from 1980 to 1992, he was an associate professor at the University of Utah, where he directed the creative writing program; and from 1992 until his death, he was a professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Larry Levis died of a heart attack in 1996, at the age of 49. His last collection, Elegy (edited by Philip Levine), was published posthumously in 1997.


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Letter to a Prospective Writing Student

Tracy Daugherty

SOURCES


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An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin

Ramola D

Born in 1929 in Berkeley, California, daughter of writer Theodora Kroeber and anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber, Ursula Kroeber Le Guin lives in Portland, Oregon. She is married to historian Charles A. Le Guin. She graduated with a BA from Radcliffe College in 1951, and an MA in French and Italian Renaissance Literature from Columbia University in 1952.


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