“Judt, James and Didion are shot through with the element that defines great art: they speak truths that the rest of us recognise but are unable to articulate.”
Mick Heaney, son of Seamus, writes about writing about dying. Referencing many favourites.
In his book Without Feathers Woody Allen has a line that has become one of his most famous quips: “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Like all the best humour, the joke is accompanied by a sense of recognition.
It is almost an article of faith for people to say that, far from fearing death, they are reconciled to it. But Allen’s joke hits on an uncomfortable truth. Read more…
We should be more interested in ourselves as English Jews. ENGLISH . . . JEWS. In the normal daily way of things, of course, we have no choice but to be interested in ourselves as English Jews – it’s as English Jews we live our lives – but it embarrasses us to say so, out loud, or in art, or in whatever other way we might choose to express our self-image.
It becomes the young to be shy and tongue-tied. They don’t, anyway, have anything to say. But we are 350 years old. Isn’t it time we apologized for ourselves a little less; liked ourselves a little more? Isn’t it time we grew up?
Read the whole article: http://www.jewishquarterly.org/issuearchive/article85b0.html?articleid=181