high crime area joyce carol oates

Booknotes: High Crime Area: Tales of Darkness and Dread

This latest collection comprises of 8 stories that explore the many dark spaces surrounding the fears that disquiet, unsettle or unhinge human lives. Yet, as with almost all of Oates’ fiction, there are layers of pathos, hints of possible absolution and just the slightest touches of buoyancy that keep her damaged and fragile characters (some even bordering on mental derangement) from sinking entirely into the freakish and despairing mires they find themselves in.

Weekend Poem: At Last the Secret Is Out by W H Auden

After the renewed interest in Auden due to 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', ten of Auden's love poems were re-printed as a collection called 'Tell Me the Truth About Love: Ten Poems', along with an audio version by John Hannah. The collected poems vary in mood, emotion and style to cover various aspects of love. Also, they include some of the cabaret songs, of which this song-poem is one.


The Books We Read, The Lives We Lead (Bibliomemoirs, Part 6)

The question that we now turn to is regarding the literary value and relevance of bibliomemoirs as meta-narratives for the book(s) and / or author(s) that they are based on. Specifically: when is the bibliomemoir, as a hybrid genre, more worthwhile to readers than a related book that belongs to one of its component genres? In other words, when is, say, ‘My Life in Middlemarch’ more worthwhile than a biography of George Eliot or a socio-cultural history of Victorian novelists or a book-length literary criticism of ‘Middlemarch’ or simply an autobiography of a person who loves the book?