Critical Evaluation "Jeff Dolven treats no novels in Senses of Style: Poetry before Interpretation, but Mary Gaitskill’s Veronica stages a moment of just the sort that animates his study. An ex-model now suffering from hepatitis, Gaitskill’s narrator, Alison, coins the term 'style suit' to refer to the fashions of her moment. “I thought the new style suit was who I really was,” she remembers with a cringe. Not a costume to be donned or discarded at will, style, for Alison, is the outward manifestation of an inner self, as solid and unchangeable as we might wish our selves to be: 'I [...]
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So far Cate Mahoney has created 26 blog entries.
Critical Evaluation “‘Russian Winter,’ Daphne Kalotay's first novel, is a magnificent tale of love, loss, betrayal and redemption. Shifting between Moscow and Boston and alternating the past with the present, the story centers on Nina Revskaya, a star of the Bolshoi Ballet, known as 'the Butterfly.' Her fame peaks during the dark days of the Cold War when all Russians were aware that 'anyone could turn in anyone else, for any thing. Small things. . . . Speaking the wrong thing, telling the wrong joke. . . . It was impossible not to know someone who was arrested.' In 1952, despite warnings that [...]
Writerly Challenges and How to Overcome Them by Cate Mahoney I am a writer, and I’ve been a writer since I was taught in fourth grade how to write a book of poetry (a big deal at any age, although my English teacher got the entire class to finish their books! I’m not sure how she did it -- probably magic). In this post, we will cover some of the challenges writers face and how we can overcome them. I am currently finishing my dissertation in English literature, so this post is for me as much as it is for [...]
Critical Evaluation “After decades as a travel writer, Pico Iyer has fallen in love with being still. His new book, “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere,’’ is a bustling paean to the stationary life. His reflections on the value of the meditative mind are quite global, leaping from the novels of Marcel Proust to the songs of Leonard Cohen, from a remote mountaintop in California to the back streets of Kyoto. More essay than book in length, the work’s brevity seems designed to accommodate the very busyness Iyer decries. But he embraces this irony: ‘It’s deliberately short, so you [...]
How to Read a Poem by Cate Mahoney For those who find poetry opaque, graduate student Cate Mahoney, Princeton Writes' University Administrative Fellow, has this advice. OK: first you actually read it. Read it twice: first to enjoy it, second to feel it. Then, if you want to analyze it—if you like it, or if you need to for a class—look for a few things. I start with imagery, word choice, rhythm, and sound. Basically, you want to figure out what images the poem is making and how it’s doing that, and if that narrative changes through the work. [...]
White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson (2008) by Brenda WineappleCate Mahoney2018-10-01T12:00:24-04:00
Critical Evaluation “Conventional wisdom has it you can tell a lot about a person by the company he or she keeps. But, what if posterity makes a big mistake in judging a famous somebody's friends; wouldn't that blunder then trigger a huge misreading of the chief person of interest? There you have the reasoning underlying Brenda Wineapple's fascinating new book, White Heat, which explores the relationship between Emily Dickinson and one of her closest confidants, Thomas Wentworth Higginson. For decades, Higginson has been derided by Dickinson scholars and fans as a kindly oaf, a Victorian man of minor letters damned with [...]