April 16, 1989 |
"To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric," Theodor Adorno wrote, thereby contradicting himself. The celebrated epigram is itself a form of poetry, of course; and written not simply after Auschwitz, but about it. It is a large contradiction. It has haunted the art inspired by the Holocaust and fueled a perennial debate about such art. The late Primo Levi, to take one example, was criticized for suggesting that the human spirit flared in the death camps, against the odds. "Trivializing the horror" is the essence of the charge brought against his and other literary explorations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 1992 |
A harried man interrupted a meeting I attended at UNESCO in New York earlier this month. He had opened the door to the wrong conference room, stumbled into a conversation about the crisis of African illiteracy instead of joining the discussion of European civil strife where he was scheduled to speak. For a few moments he failed to realize his mistake--after all, we were just another assembly of dark suits around an oval table, our faces made serious by defeating statistics, our yellow legal pads covered with the usual question marks--and so he launched into his prepared report.
May 7, 1989 |
A glorious summer morning. A father and his teen-age daughter and son paddle lazily on a river in Devon, one of England's greenest and most bucolic counties. They are in that half-exhilarated, half-estranged state that comes of staying up all night. The mother is in the hospital, having given birth to a baby during a wild ride and a crash on dark back roads. It could have been a disaster; it turned out well. They have been through an ordeal and they are celebrating. They have finished a bottle of wine, dispensation for a special occasion.
October 12, 1986
Thank goodness. "Dallas" is back to normal and Bobby's alive! Thanks, Lorimar, for wiping out that dreadful 1985 season. It was indeed a nightmare. Antoinette Lane, San Pedro
April 23, 1989 |
SEE UNDER:LOVE David Grossman; translated from the Hebrew by Betsy Rosenberg (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $19.95; 458 pp.) "David Grossman, a gifted young Israeli writer, has found some startling new light in his massive and complex novel about the Holocaust. He has tacked up a dazzling circuitry between nightmare and hope."
June 24, 1990
The June 3 TV Times cover on the nightmarish "Tales From the Crypt" turned into a parent's nightmare, or should I say children's nightmare. I guess I could have ripped the cover page off our TV Times or try to hide it. I guess what I'm saying is I'd just wish a slightly less scarier picture had been used so our entire family, which includes my 4-year-old son, could have enjoyed it. I also have an 8-year-old and we often peruse TV Times together to...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 1992
The riots concerned me! It must have really scared my dad because he took his rifle in his truck wherever he went. He also left one by his bed at night. I hope this nightmare will end soon. MATT MILLER Los Angeles
September 14, 2003
Letter writer Don Anderson (Sept. 11) takes issue with writer Joan Didion's Sept. 8 commentary, claiming that her prose has deteriorated with age and that she's wrong to claim any special status for California. Actually, Didion's prose has become more layered and interesting with age. Life is not supposed to look the same to adults as it does to eighth-graders; why should a writer's style not evolve as she gains wisdom and experience? California is special, not because Didion says so but because writers, political commentators and opinion shapers across the country have painted it that way since the 1800s.