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Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning

James Salter’s novel All That Is was a national bestseller in the US last year. A translation is now on the bestseller list in France. I was drawn to it by the taut, tense opening lines describing the experience of Americans in the Pacific during World War Two: All night in darkness the water sped […]

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Categories: Tucker Cox, ZiR | 2 Comments

Part I – “Australia’s curious sense of disconnectedness” is about the Aussie people, a “beguiling fusion of America and Britain” – 11 Sept 2014 Part III – “Unaccountably overlooked and packed with unappreciated wonders” – is about Aborigines, earth’s oldest culture and stromatolites – earth’s oldest life form – 25 Sept 2014 In a Sunburned Country, Bill […]

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The second of two reviews. See part I – click here In Pictures from Italy, Charles Dickens’ description of Napolitanos doing “everything in pantomime” illustrates his unsurpassed skill at animating a scene: …beggars rap their chins with their right hands… the conventional sign for hunger. A man quarrelling with another lays the palm of his […]

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Italian Journey is a memorable picture of Italy at the end of the eighteenth century. Italian Journey portrays Goethe’s joy and struggle to satisfy his intellectual curiosity and commitment to understanding art. “With great objects [of art] around,” he said, the purpose of his trip was “to learn and to improve myself ere I am […]

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Zeteo is Reading Contributor Tucker Cox is currently traveling. He is expected to return next Thursday with his next post about great travel writing. He has a lifetime goal of visiting 100 countries on 7 continents. It might be said that he is now 87 percent of the way there. The photograph, of professional backpacker Andrew Skurka, […]

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Part 3 of 3 of Mark Twain’s memoir of his 134-day European  and Holy Land cruise in 1867, the biggest selling book in his lifetime. Every great travelogue imprints memories of sights, experiences and perspectives. The Innocents Abroad or, The New Pilgrims’ Progress has too many to mention. For example, there is the “true cross… found in every church we go into… […]

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  Part 2 of 3 of Mark Twain’s memoir of his 134-day European and Holy Land cruise in 1867, the biggest selling book in his lifetime .   So said Mark Twain in is classic, travelogue, The Innocents Abroad or, The New Pilgrims’ Progress. And while he and his companions indeed discover “half the world,” […]

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Part II reviews Bryson’s writing about conservation and ecology  in his travelogue, A Walk in the Woods.  Part I discuses Bryson’s masterful use of humor: click here.      In a Walk in the Woods, the account of his hike along the Appalachian Trail, Bill Bryson balances his gift for making readers laugh out loud with […]

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This is the first of two reviews of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. This review is about Bryson’s use of humor, the second about his concern for the ecology surrounding the Appalachian Trail   “That’s the trouble with losing your mind; by the time it’s gone, it’s too late to get it back,” said […]

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This is the second of two reviews. Part  I (April 24) is about Stevenson’s desire to travel. In Part II RLS learns to love Modestine, his donkey and comments on religion. In 1878, R.L. Stevenson and Modestine, his donkey, trekked through the Cevennes region of southern France for 12 days, covering 120 miles. Stevenson wrote about their trip in Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. It is a classic […]

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This is the first of two reviews. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes in 1879. The short (80 pp) Victorian travelogue was a best seller. It gave Stevenson financial freedom.  He earned  a reputation as a good writer, paving the way for his first major success, Treasure Island, followed by the novella, The […]

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Categories: Essay | 1 Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

This is the first of two reviews. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes in 1879. The short (80 pp) Victorian travelogue was a best seller. It gave Stevenson financial freedom.  He earned  a reputation as a good writer, paving the way for his first major success, Treasure Island, followed by the novella, The […]

Essay

June 14, 2018

The time that takes place in stories compared to the time that we actually live is radically abbreviated. It briskly sweeps aside all the commonplace moments that make up the long stretch of toilsome time and focuses instead on the interesting and compelling. With a mere section break or a simple transitional phrase, days, months, and whole years are disposed of as if they had no significance at all. “Then time passed slowly until the day arrived when….” A lot of important living is hidden in such a phrase. From the moment-to-moment flow of time, the storyteller lifts out only those narr...

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Categories: Essay | 1 Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

This is the first of two reviews. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes in 1879. The short (80 pp) Victorian travelogue was a best seller. It gave Stevenson financial freedom.  He earned  a reputation as a good writer, paving the way for his first major success, Treasure Island, followed by the novella, The […]

Essay

May 11, 2018

Using personal essay, literary reference, and journalistic voice, the article plants itself on our existential doorstep while illuminating Barnes' novel one more time. Very strong. Thanks.

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Categories: Essay | 1 Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

This is the first of two reviews. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes in 1879. The short (80 pp) Victorian travelogue was a best seller. It gave Stevenson financial freedom.  He earned  a reputation as a good writer, paving the way for his first major success, Treasure Island, followed by the novella, The […]

Essay

May 10, 2018

"When these new memories suddenly came upon me … time had been placed in reverse. As if, for that moment, the river ran upstream." Stolen from Barnes's book for my poem "From the Vale for a Soul Making". Great book to write about.

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