The Chinese Chekhov: the letters of Shen Congwen; Yiyun Li on kindness; Tim O'Sullivan's Father Olufemi; Mary-Beth Hughes's widow of Combarelles; Samanta Schweblin's brother Walter; David Potter's Dr. Kreutzer; Lawrence Weschler on Alec Soth's Las Vegas birthday party; Jenny Davidson, Graham Foust, Paul Glimcher, and Amy Leach on tomorrow; and poems by Cynthia Lowen, Jennifer Moxley, Ed Roberson, John Yau, and more.
No. 10 • Grant WoodIn 1931, in the throes of the Great Depression, Grant Wood made a chronological list of thirteen prior economic depressions, beginning with 1819.
No. 10 • Graham FoustComes upon and at me / does your gone-tinged promise.
No. 10 • Amy LeachUsually all we have to do when we go a-conquering is to build a boat, find a benefactress, recruit a ribald crew, and wear radiant glinting helmets.
No. 10 • Jenny DavidsonI’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!” the Queen said.
No. 10 • Paul GlimcherSince the time of Descartes, Westerners have seen their core identity as a feature that stands apart from the physical world.
No. 10 • Salvatore ScibonaHe learned of Sergei’s arrest and imprisonment when a waiter switched the television to CNN.
No. 10 • Tim O’SullivanThere seemed to be a fellow feeling between the priest and bus driver, each too slight for his uniform.
No. 10 • Samanta SchweblinMy brother Walter is depressed.
No. 10 • Alec SothMy wife took me to Las Vegas to celebrate my fortieth birthday.
No. 10 • Lawrence WeschlerAlec Soth’s spare volume of documentation culminates in that deliciously inspired last-minute stab at monetary redemption.
No. 10 • Mary-Beth HughesPatty promised her old friend Coren she had the very best cure for heartache: the shrewd and pitiless French.
No. 10 • David PotterAt night, alone in the greenhouse, Dr. Kreutzer listens to Bach.
No. 10 • Matthew RohrerI got to meet my heroes / and have dinner with them
No. 10 • Giampiero NeriIn that part of the field / near the woodpile / had arisen an indistinct figure, / like a deeper blotch / in the evening darkness, / a seeming dog flying over the roofs.
No. 10 • Cynthia LowenIf it is better to be feared / than loved, best of all / pitied—obeyed not out of threat / but an understanding / the inability to harm / makes benevolence / a moot point.
No. 10 • D.A. PowellWhen the previously withheld faces grew tough as flax / or softened into pliant pine in the umber wood, inclined / together, numerous, when the cobble crushed underfoot, / and pistachios cracked in their shells, grown heavy, / grown consummate among the nibs of leaves, then curious / seemed the stars, those nether eyes which scrutinized / each shape that stirred against the unlit trunks of trees.
No. 10 • Christopher JankeThe psalm is a door / that tears me.
No. 10 • Stephen DunnNo more the lovely ease of it all, / and many years removed / from those languorous afternoons / where, together, they seemed / to create their own air
No. 10 • W. S. Di PieroHere’s a George Raft rat speeding above the subway’s sacred hot rail
No. 10 • John YauBehind the hill / overlooking our tiny enclave / dwells a giant known far and wide
No. 10 • Eamon GrennanWintering Beech / Tabernacle of green light green shade, summer space / of beechen green and shadows numberless, / that’s now but a bony show of itself, all its / ornaments and nest-hiding glad rags / wind-torn and let go where silence opens / its stony arms.
No. 10 • Mary CrowEach gets so shamefully little, only half a face, honed to a fine point, like swallow shadows dipping after mosquitoes
No. 10 • Jennifer MoxleyI am inappropriate I feel it / in every said thing in every / enthusiasm desire wish / but mostly in every / unsettling ambition
No. 10 • Ed RobersonPart of the pearlescent surface is gone / from the glass back to sand
No. 10 • James SchuylerThe turrets, self-conscious and vulgar, / the doors, so functional, / the tinted windows, lovely and perhaps unreasonable.
No. 10 • Yiyun LiI am a forty-one-year-old woman living by myself, in the same one-bedroom flat where I have always lived, in a derelict building on the outskirts of Beijing that is threatened to be demolished by government-backed real estate developers.
No. 10 • Shen CongwenGreat books are never abandoners—they don’t betray us; they don’t turn away from our candid admiration or criticism; they don’t die.
No. 10The “historic” novel is, for me, condemned even in cases of labour as delicate as yours, to a fatal cheapness, for the simple reason that the difficulty of the job is inordinate and that a mere escamotage, in the interest of ease, and of the abysmal public naiveté becomes inevitable.
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