Susan Stewart | Public Domain Review | 9th February 2022
Piranesi, the 18C engraver-architect, was outraged and saddened by the cavalier attitude to Roman ruins he observed in his travels around Italy. He thus "determined to preserve them forever by means of engraving", combining the precision of a draughtsman with the fantasies of an artist to produce works that imagine what "the reality of the past" might have looked like (2,659 words)
Philip Oltermann | Irish Times | 8th February 2022
Introduction to the “Working Circle of Writing Chekists”. This weekly gathering of East German poetry enthusiasts was an attempt by the Stasi in the 1980s "to professionalise their lyrical praxis" and "weaponise verse for a Cold War culture war". But instead of making them better at tracking down dissident poets, the exercise made the writers question the fundamental tenets of the GDR (996 words)
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Five Books: The Best Philip Roth Books. He wrote about what he saw when he looked in the mirror, even when he didn't like it; Roth's literary biographer talks us through this most uncomfortable of novelists.
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