I took to daydreaming during these monologues, which Walsh, or Welch, took as a personal offence, and she was not long in spinning her revenge. She called me Brighteyes, after a Viking tale of H. Rider Haggard. It was her conceit that I was Swedish, and therefore thick, and it amused her to address me in a macaronic Scandinavian sing-song. [Read more]


Haneke has, in interviews, remarked on his admiration for the Danish master, Carl Theodor Dreyer, whose film Ordet presents a religious parable culminating in a resurrection—one of the greatest moments in all of cinema. The analagous moment in Haneke’s film is perhaps not remarked on in reviews because it is more comfortable to explain the mysterious in psychological terms, or to assume there must be such an explanation. [Read more]


UC-47 was to last another six months. It was rammed by a British patrol boat off Flamborough Head on November 18, 1917, and went down with all hands. Although accessible to divers, the site is listed as a war grave and the wreck may not be entered or disturbed. [Read more]

Black Peter

Forman’s English was of course American English. Not a generic American English (if there is such a thing), more a particular gravelly, lowish-medium, side-of-the-mouth, flat, no-nonsense American voice, its register neither specifically formal nor specifically colloquial, speech requiring no movement of either lips or eyebrows, a nowhere dialect whose native territory one thinks of as Hollywood big-shots, neo-cons in think tanks, sellers of Ponzi schemes. [Read more]

Electric Ferry

Or perhaps these are the inevitable themes of a certain kind of writing in a certain kind of era. The narrator of the story of the Venus on the Malecón believes that a Time of Terror calls for the most elementary of reconstructions: “primitive materials . . . life histories, fictions, collections.” [Read more]

Harlem USA

A girlfriend’s Ukrainian mother from upstate is a disciple of Bishop S.C.Johnson of The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. In fulfillment of a promise we trek up to Harlem to hear him preach. What I remember of the evening is a courteous black cop at the head of the subway stairs, as though planted there just to watch out for innocents. Asked where we were going. Told us to take a bus the one block over, where the church was, which we did. [Read more]