By Joyce Carol Oates A shortened version of “Mr. Rooster” was published in The New York Times Magazine; the full version is published in Bearing Witness: Joyce Carol Oates Studies. […]
Laura Dern is so dazzlingly right as “my” Connie that I may come to think I modeled the fictitious girl on her, in the way that writers frequently delude themselves about motions of causality.
Who would have thought that Muhammad Ali’s defiant repudiation of American foreign policy, in the mid-1960s considered virtually traitorous by some observers, would come to be, in the decade to follow, a widespread and altogether respectable political position?
These are striking creations inside plexiglass boxes that merit close, sympathetic scrutiny in the way that the most subtle of poems and dreams merit our scrupulous attention.
Well-intentioned, print-oriented people are forever asking, “Doesn’t it upset you to see your characters taken over by other people, out of your control?” My reply is generally a mild one: “But isn’t that the point of writing for the theater?”
In 1984 the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters awarded one of its distinguished fiction prizes to a new and presumably young Chicano writer named Danny Santiago, for his first novel, Famous All Over Town. Subsequent to the award it was revealed, with some embarrassment, that the newly discovered Chicano writer was not Chicano at all …
The old farmhouse was razed years ago, the very site of its foundation filled with earth, all trace of its existence obliterated. Yet I see it clearly, and the lilac tree that grew close beside the back door, a child-size tree into which I climbed, a dreamy child given to solitude in places near the house, near you.
Though frequently denounced and often misunderstood by a somewhat genteel literary community, my writing is, at least in part, an attempt to memorialize my parents’ vanished world; my parents’ lives. Sometimes directly, sometimes in metaphor.
The scandal of Holyfield-Tyson II forces admirers of boxing to consider: Why is biting any more demonic than fighting itself? Its demonism isn’t conventional, that’s all.
Mike Tyson’s conviction on rape charges in Indianapolis is a minor tragedy for the beleaguered sport of boxing, but a considerable triumph for women’s rights. For once, though bookmakers were giving 5-1 odds that Tyson would be acquitted, and the mood of the country seems distinctly conservative, a jury resisted the outrageous defense that a rape victim is to be blamed for her own predicament.
There is an unsettling air about Tyson, with his impassive death’s-head face, his unwavering stare, and his refusal to glamorize himself in the ring—no robe, no socks, only the signature black trunks and shoes—that the violence he unleashes against his opponents is somehow just.
Confronted with an opponent like “Bonecrusher” Smith, who violates the decorum of the ring by not fighting, Tyson is at a loss; he hits his man after the bell, in an adolescent display of frustration.
It is illuminating to read Lawrence’s entire poetic work as a kind of journal … This massive work is more powerful, more emotionally combative, than even the greatest of his novels.
Women in Love is an inadequate title. The novel concerns itself with far more than simply women in love. Gerald and Birkin and Ursula and Gudrun are immense figures, monstrous creations out of legend, out of mythology; they are unable to alter their fates, like tragic heroes and heroines of old.
The notorious case of the murder of six-year-old child beauty-pageant winner JonBenét Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado, a case that Sherlock Holmes would have “solved” in a few seconds’ ratiocination (“No footprints in the snow around the house? No forced entry? A staged kidnapping, ransom note seemingly written by the mother?”)
Meeting her at last I felt almost faint—certainly unreal—turning transparent myself in the presence of this totally defined, self-confident, gracious woman.