Category Archives: literature

an exchange of emails about George Gissing

    Roger W. Smith to Charles Davenport, Jr. August 6, 2017   Dear Mr. Davenport, You wrote: “In the realm of fiction, George Gissing is in a league of his own; no other author even comes close.” — Charles Davenport Jr., … Continue reading

Posted in George Gissing (Victorian novelist), literature | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

poetic prose

        Below is an email of mine to a friend. (I have commenced a project I assigned to myself a month or two ago: reading the novels of Thomas Wolfe.)   *****************************************************   “… a river that … Continue reading

Posted in literature, Thomas Wolfe | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

an email to the editor, about J. M. Synge’s “The Aran Islands”

    Dear Tim, Thanks very much for getting back to me. I apologize for the slight delay in responding to you! To introduce myself. I live in New York City. I have always been deeply immersed in literature. I … Continue reading

Posted in literature, my reading; observations on reading | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Harold Bloom on Walt Whitman

    [Whitman] is the poet of our climate, never to be replaced, unlikely ever to be matched. Only a few poets in the language have surpassed “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”: Shakespeare, Milton, perhaps one or two … Continue reading

Posted in literature, Walt Whitman | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


    Jonathan Swift is the one of the greatest satirists English literature has ever seen. (Juvenal an ancient rival.) How many times can one read Gulliver’s Travels and not be bored or not fail to be entertained? The answer: … Continue reading

Posted in Jonathan Swift, literature, my favorite poems | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Thoreau’s last journal

      From age 20 on, Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) copiously kept a journal in which he recorded his observations about nature and his thoughts. The journal provided the grist for some of his finest writings. The following is … Continue reading

Posted in general interest, literature | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

was Walt Whitman “politically corrected”?

      As noted in a recent New York Times article “In a Walt Whitman Novel, Lost for 165 Years, Clues to ‘Leaves of Grass” By Jennifer Schuessler The New York Times, February 20, 2017     Zachary Turpin, … Continue reading

Posted in editorial work, literature, Walt Whitman | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment