Bill Marx

Book Review: “The World Republic of Letters” — A Literary Demolition Derby

August 12, 2005
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An intriguingly speculative study argues that the history of world literature boils down to a power struggle between outsiders and insiders.

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The Silent Resistance of Words

June 6, 2005
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Albanian writer reflects on winning the inaugural Man Booker International Prize for Fiction.

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Book Review: The Sweet Science

October 18, 2004
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A.J. Liebling’s classic work of journalism about the fight game is back in print. The Sweet Science, by A.J. Liebling. (North Point Press). By Bill Marx In 2002, “Sports Illustrated” named “The Sweet Science” the “best American sports book of all time.” Since its author, A.J. Liebling would have turned 100 on October 18, 2004,…

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Book Review: Regarding the Pain of Others

March 25, 2003
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Critic Susan Sontag asks whether repeated exposure to images of violence makes us less sensitive to human suffering. Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag. (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 144 pages) By Bill Marx The controversy over whether images of American POWs held by Iraqi forces should be broadcast on television testifies to the…

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Book Review: Thomas Bernhard — A Grouch of Greatness

March 12, 2002
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“Whoever manages to write a pure comedy on his deathbed has achieved the ultimate success.” — Thomas Bernhard A biography examines, with mixed results, the life and work of Thomas Bernhard, an acclaimed Austrian writer and playwright his homeland loved to hate. Thomas Bernhard: The Making of an Austrian by Gitta Honegger. Yale University Press, 348 pages.…

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Book Review: Kenneth Tynan — A Critic’s Decline

January 3, 2002
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“The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan” provides literate entertainment and cautionary tales about what happens to a critic when the will-to-celebrity triumphs over the urge-to-critique. The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan Edited by John Lahr. Bloomsbury, 439 pages. By Bill Marx Kenneth Tynan’s descent from brilliance to muddle is a fable for theater critics, a cautionary tale…

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