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Levi Stahl

Levi Stahl has written 57 posts for The Constant Conversation

“When I say you, I mean this is love,” or, A book by a TQC contributor

It’s always a pleasure when a Quarterly Conversation contributor publishes a book; many of our reviewers are published writers of fiction, poetry, and criticism, and each time one of them publishes a new book, it feels like the Quarterly Conversation gets woven just a bit more tightly into the complicated, ever-fascinating fabric of contemporary literature.
Today’s [...]

On the travails of the poetic profession

One of the minor beats I seem to have inadvertently taken up for this blog is that of pointing out places in novels where the status or suffering poets is lamented–which, it turns out are not that uncommon.
Today’s comes from Jonathan Ames’s Wake Up, Sir! (2004), a present-day reworking of the Bertie Wooster/Jeeves relationship. The [...]

“[Y]ou have to use the language of prose to define poetry,” or, Poetry and the e-world are not the best of friends.

Over at the Poetry Foundation’s site, Alizah Salario has a long, informative, and well-reported article about the difficulties that face publishers when they try to turn books of poetry into e-books.
The problems lie, primarily, with the difficulty of getting an e-pub format–and thus an e-reader–to render the careful lineation of poetry correctly. Like prose, [...]

Halloween reading

If you want to really scare the trick-or-treaters today, tell them that if they want any candy, they first have to be quiet and patient while you read them a poem.
Over at the Poetry Foundation’s site, Becca Klaver has rounded up a bunch of poems suitable for scaring. Add in this video of John Astin [...]

Murakami on 1Q84

If, like me, you’re breathlessly awaiting next year’s English-language edition of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, you can whet your appetite by reading an interview with Murakami about the book thanks to the great blogger at night rpm. He’s translated an interview that appeared recently in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, and he’s been posting his translation in portions [...]



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  • Pete: If nothing else, that headline would have totally pissed off Huey Lewis.
  • Levi Stahl: In a large sense, it’s not a patch on his major work, but good god, I love Javier Marias’s...
  • KAO: Good to have you back, sir.
  • Soo Jin Oh: Hi, Jeff, I am loving the dispatches from the Winter Institute as it was one event I always wished I...
  • Jeff Waxman: That cover for CONTEMPTIBLE is phenomenal! Thanks, gents!
  • Diane: This only confirms what I have known intuitively for several years now in relation to my own store in the...
  • Jeff Waxman: Not in my family, it won’t.
  • M: The former. The latter: http://bit.ly/12alRq
  • Levi Stahl: Ouch. That sounds easily bad enough to take the prize. E-mail me with your address and I’ll put the...
  • DebraG: Thanks, Levi, for your post. By linking Jonathan Ames and “Dance” you’ve prompted me to...