Rae Bryant’s essay “In the Buff: Literary Readings, Pasties, and Jiggling Genitalia” is now at The Paris Review. Here’s a little taste:
My first time with the postfeminist, burlesque lit girl culture—pasties, G-strings, audience clapping to jiggling booties—I was in a fun little Brooklyn bar called the Way Station. I had, minutes before, read from my own work, what I thought was a wryly humorous and oh-so-literary postfeminist exploration of time, culture, and relationships. I knew the term “burlesque” had been thrown around on the billing, but to my Midwestern sensibilities, burlesque meant feathers and brief flashes of almost breast, the inner curves of almost vagina, with the full monty saved for fictional accounts. This, on the other hand, was a literary reading. So you can imagine my reaction to the dancer’s G-stringed ass shaking so close to my face I felt an instinct to throw up my hands in self-defense…. READ MORE
Ernest “Papa” Hemingway is the expatriate writer we love to hate and hate to love. He is the superhero/antihero equivalent of literary greatness with a Royal Quiet de Luxeon at his hip and a bottle of “grog” in his hand, shirt ripped open for the world to see his big, manly, hairy chest. Journalist, world traveler, fighter, marrying man, decorated WWI Italian army volunteer, sportsman, fisherman, big game hunter, Hemingway’s bravado made him infamous and a fine dinner guest. His contributions to the community of letters is unattested, bringing an understatement and simplicity of style to the modernist canon like none before him. John Updike and Joan Didion, and many more, claim him as a major inspiration. As likely to carry a urinal home from Sloppy Joe’s, his Key West bar hangout, as he was to write major literary works, Hemingway, the man, was sometimes larger than his work and made him the media eye candy of his time.
When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.
“Indian Camp” (1924, Transatlantic Review) In Our Time (1925, collection) The Sun Also Rises (1926) Death in the Afternoon (???) “Hills Like White Elephants” (1927) Men Without Women (1927) A Farewell to Arms (1929) “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” (1935) “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1936, Esquire) The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938) For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) Across the River and into the Trees (1950) The Old Man and the Sea (1952) A Moveable Feast (1964) Islands in the Stream (1970) True at First Light (1999) More Books…
The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction (Finalist, 1941) For Whom the Bell Tolls The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction (1953) The Old Man and the Sea The Nobel Prize in Literature (1954)
Heller, Nathan. “Hemingway: How the Great Novelist Became the Literary Equivalent of the Nike Swoosh.” Slate Magazine. March 16, 2012.
When visiting the Neue Galerie in NY, recently, for the Klimt Exhibition, I spent most of my time with Schiele’s Man and Woman I, a 1914 oil painting. This is my favorite piece in the Neue collection. You can lose yourself in the seamless movement, the gritty eroticism of what is so very Schiele. I find the supplicated woman particularly interesting. Her four point stance on elbows and knees. The man challenging the viewer. The form has something of a Cubist element but with a fluidity I never felt with Picasso‘s Cubist works. I prefer Picasso’s earlier pieces except for Aficionado. Aficionado is truly spectacular, intricate woven hues so that the brushwork presents a depth of perspective not seen in all of Picasso’s Cubism. I came to the painting after reading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises as a Humanities undergrad. Hemingway and Picasso go well together on many levels. I like the cross-sections of visual and textual. And I’d like to see more of it. I can’t help wonder who Schiele’s Hemingway is?