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I read a wonderful book of essays this week by Helen Garner, called Everywhere I Look. After each essay I would "just look at one more" until the entire book was read in a matter of hours. I'd had no intention of reading them one after another, but her language was so clear and so exact and so accessible. In one essay Helen Garner admitted she modeled her work on Janet Malcolm's, who I'd not read. I immediately picked up this book and Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers. This b...
Good but dated Well written, but not easy to find a current use for, unless you were specifically looking for information from this period about the subjects covered.
I love Janet Malcolm so much, my deepest literary aspiration is to ever display a wit even one-tenth as dry as hers. This collection is pretty great, although the long essay is clearly the form where she does her best work. The opening section is essays about psychoanalysis, the second part is reviews and writing on literature, and the third is some not-quite-long-enough-for-a-book essays (one on family therapy, one that is more fascinating than it has any right to be about Artforum magazine, an...
I think there's something pretty great in just about every piece she files, and certainly plenty to learn. It seems though, that unless the subject is relatively sexy, people find the reading to be dry as toast. Sometimes I like unbuttered toast.
Suggested by Helen Garner.