A new year, a new approach!
I’m going to experiment a bit with the format of these Wednesday posts in this new year. To that end, let’s try this:
1. One highlight of the past week: reading The Kites, an English translation (by Miranda Richmond Mouillot) of Romain Gary’s Les cerfs-volants. I have a longstanding affective attachment to Gary’s work, which I discovered as a college student studying in France back when George Herbert Walker Bush was president. That—and Adam Gopnik’s superb piece in The New Yorker—inclined me to approach The Kites with an abundance of positive feeling. But the book exceeded my expectations.
I know that few books are truly “for everyone”—so I’ll recommend this one especially for anyone interested in France and/or in World War II. Some readers might consider this “historical fiction”—but if one adheres to the definition of the Historical Novel Society, “to be deemed historical…a novel must have been written at least fifty years after the events described, or have been written by someone who was not alive at the time of those events (who therefore approaches them only by research).” Since Gary did, in fact, live through the war years, this doesn’t quite fit that definition. And yet.
I’d love to return to this book, and write an essay-review about it. We’ll see what the future brings.
2. Another topic I plan to write about—most likely in the next issue of The Practicing Writer, so you won’t have to wait long: today’s New York Society Library session on “Publishing Poems in Literary Magazines and In Your Own Micro-Press.” I attended this largely to learn more about poetry-book publishing, since I’m already familiar with what’s involved in publishing in literary magazines. I’m happy to have had the chance to meet poets Margo Taft Stever and Jennifer Franklin, co-editors of Slapering Hol Press, who led the session, and I thank them for coming to meet with the Library group.
3. Finally: something I can tell you that I’ve ACTUALLY WRITTEN! I sent in my latest Jewish Chronicle “A View from the U.S.A.” column on Monday. I’m happy with it; we’ll see if my editors feel the same way. At any rate, this one should be online in a few days. I’ll be sharing it when it is.
What are your midweek notes?