A Notorious Dream. Art vs. Priests in San Francisco.
A Year in Champagne. Everyone loves it. Few know how difficult it is to make it.
A Year in Port. It’s extraordinarily hard not to like the people of Porto.
Ada. Nonetheless I’m afraid. I’m afraid to love you.
Alan Rinzler, On Publishing Past, Present and Future. Is the editor a soul mate to the writer, without whom the poor sot may never finish the sanity-threatening project on which he/she has embarked?
Alev Lytle Croutier’s Harem: The World Behind the Veil. Like that of most other people in the west, my understanding of the harem was a salacious one, and very inaccurate.
Alexander von Humboldt, On Everything The greatest man since the deluge.
Autumn in New York. “A ruse, The Divine yet filled The Ritz, a palace devoted to fun and loss, and Billie Holiday was the muse who made you feel that fun in your own ruptured heart.”
Basic Training. There is a difference between education and training.
Big Nose in Buenos Aires. You walk down a sidewalk in Buenos Aires at your peril.
Borneo. Fifty years ago, I moved to western Borneo.
Coffee, Tango and Luigi Pirandello. The Café Tortoni, Buenos Aires.
Edith Wharton. This book is where you should start.
Eduardo Galeano. The historian of the Americas.
El Tanguero Obama. He’s got it in his heart.
Gabo Returns! At last, Colombia publishes it’s own.
Hanoi Hannah. Hannah played the best rock ‘n roll of any station I could reach, so I listened to her as often as I could.
How To Write Fiction If you want a primer on how to write fiction, please read Dubliners.
How’s that Novel of Yours Doing? The Hemingway goal hasn’t worked for me or, I suspect, for others.
Irvin D. Yalom: A Conversation. “I hate to be love’s executioner.”
Learning to Write about New York. I was aware of John Updike’s remark that “the true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.” Now that I was living in New York, I understood how accurate his observation was.
“Light’s Like Water”. A story by Gabriel García Márquez. Translation by Terence Clarke.
No Irish Need Apply. As it was with the Irish, the current hate-ridden xenophobia about illegal immigration will prove to be ill-advised.
OMG!@e-speak. Not emailing, not even texting, has risen to the challenge.
On Art that Isn’t There. While the Mona Lisa has qualities that are abundantly evident, in my case the paintings I describe do not exist at all.
Pablo Neruda and the Perilous Andes. Neruda was no stranger to extreme punishment for his political views, and rumors have circulated since his death that he too was murdered while in hospital after Allende’s death.
Pepe Le Moko and The Battle for Algiers. The two best films ever made about The Casbah also happen to be two of the best films ever made.
Piazzolla, Before & After. The kid, the maestro, the music.
Remembering Horacio Ferrer. The iconic Argentine poet and tango lyricist.
Saddle Up! And Don’t Forget your Hat. Until recently, I never myself owned a cowboy hat. Then I met Jimmy Harrison.
Silence. The new rudeness is silence.
Tango Sketch: Ernesto. Piazzolla and the boy Ernesto.
Tango Sketch: Julietta. Woven letters.
The Bohemians in San Francisco. If, like me, you live on Russian Hill in San Francisco, or if you care for fine and adventurous writing, Ben Tarnoff’s The Bohemians: Mark Twain and The San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature is for you.
The Candidate. It came to me last night in a dream that I haven’t understood Donal Trump.
The Gift: Among the writers I know, Lewis Hyde’s The Gift is almost always required reading.
The Gods of Tango. A novel by Carolina De Robertis
The Green Schoolyard. In San Francisco, a child pulls a carrot from the ground. Thus the result of the kind of education that may save the world.
The New Ireland. God save the Irish for having voted it in.
The Novel? I don’t find much engagement in novels that feature the undead.
The Soul of Juan de Pareja. I’ve always sympathized with Juan de Pareja and worried why he was suffering so deeply in such seeming silence.
The Trouble With San Francisco. Surprises in architecture. The New Gherkin versus The Leaning Tower.
Timothy Ferris’ The Science of Liberty. Liberal democracies did not simply spring from a void.
Waiting. A little advice for that novel you’re writing.
What Is It About David Copperfield? Uriah Heep’s sweat.
Where the Peacocks Sing, by Alison Singh Gee. “The preternatural glow over the Indian night sky.”
Wilfredo’s Debussy. “The loss of that piano broke my father, almost as much as the revolution did. It broke his heart.” A New York story…
Women vs. the Drowned Hulk. The Church is beside the point.
Writing New York! Where’d they ever get this place? And what about the book?
Yellow Fox. Journalism was once a completely respectable profession.