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Visions of Elio

“Call Me By Your Name,” from the rippling contours of ancient statues’ triceps to the hazy pastels of Elio’s favorite boardshorts, is an aesthetic experience. And that’s exactly what critic D.A. Muller of the LA Review of Books dislikes.

Reading trees

“Do you know what the California state tree is?” I am standing with Sairus Patel in the little arboretum between the Law Library and the bookstore. Sairus is a typographer for Adobe with grey hair and a gentle smile. He’s also a tree enthusiast. He’s explaining to me the difference between the three types of…

Great writers, bad readers

Content warning: This article discusses rape and sexual abuse. Over winter break, I picked up JM Coetzee’s “Late Essays” in a San Francisco bookstore. In it I encountered one of two misreadings by authors — male writers I adore — that gently sidestepped what seemed to me to be glaring depictions of sexual assault. Coetzee’s first review…

The promise of ‘Bliss’

Let me introduce you to Bertha. Bertha is a young woman living the 1910s and she’s feeling – well, what is it exactly? Like skipping? Like shouting? A feeling of “bliss”? But no, she can’t quite say. Bertha, for the first of many times in her 33 pages as the protagonist of Katherine Mansfield’s “Bliss,” can’t…