New essay on Powell's City of Books Blog
There are seven stories I read at least once a year, for pleasure and in the same very rational spirit that infertile males of certain old (and new) world tribes have eaten rhinoceros horns and tiger penises, hoping that imbibing a thing of a certain shape and power will transfer the shape and power upon the imbiber. One of those stories is Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." Each time he follows that woman through the streets of Paris, dreaming she is his first love, hoping she will not turn around and break the spell, my blood quickens, for I have done that. Another is a story I found by accident called "The Dandelion Clocks" by Juliana Horatia Ewing, who was said to have influenced Kipling and who, like an Edo ink painter, draws character in a stroke. Four of the stories are Kipling's: "The Church That Was at Antioch"; "The Manner of Men"; "The Gate of a Hundred Sorrows," the most beautiful story of terminal drug addiction you will ever read; and a rarely anthologized story about a Lahore prostitute and betrayal of the Empire called "On the City Wall," which is perhaps my favorite of all his stories. The last is Yasunari Kawabata's "Izu no Odoriko," "The Izu Dancer," a masterpiece of the kind of minimalist prose Ernest Hemingway was contemporaneously forging in Paris, each writer unknown to the other ... READ MORE HERE
Pensees - spelling and punctuation mistakes and all ... I believe at least three quarters of what I say. ... And the good stuff only stays posted for an hour or two.