War and peace

By JOHN FREEMAN  |  January 2, 2006

And the hullabaloo over pilgrimages? It will make more sense after you read A Season in Mecca, (Hill & Wang, January 10), Moroccan-American writer Abdellah Hammoudi’s chronicle of traveling to Islam’s holy sites as a “secular Muslim.”

Readers tend to forget that Albert Camus was part Algerian, but they certainly won’t when they read his journalism and op-ed pieces for a resistance newspaper, which are now available in Camus at Combat: Writing 1944–1947, (Princeton, February 1). A similarly outraged warble can be heard in the plays of Arthur Miller, which are being issued by the Library of America in a handsome omnibus edition, Collected Plays: 1944–1961 (Library of America, February 11).

Finally, Don DeLillo has an all-new play of his own, Love-Lies — Bleeding (Scribner, January 1). Boasting laconic yet liquid dialogue, it presents a family who’re circling the wagons around paterfamilias Alex, who’s suffered a stroke. Here are all the dark desert flowers of death — the feeding tubes and the bathing needs, the Nembutal and the applesauce — and also the silence of the hospital. “What good is a life that doesn’t experience some trace of all possible lives?” asks a character toward the play’s conclusion. “What’s the point of being only who we are?” Indeed, and this is why we read.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
Related: On (and off) track, Boston feasts, In Search of Mozart, More more >
  Topics: Books , Entertainment, Federico Fellini, Vassar College,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DENIS JOHNSON’S WAR  |  November 06, 2007
    Denis Johnson has given us so many maimed and suffering souls in the past 25 years, he could fill a trauma ward.
  •   AMERICAN DREAMER  |  October 15, 2007
    It’s difficult to think of an American writer with a story more inspiring than Ha Jin’s.
  •   CLASS ACTS  |  September 26, 2007
    The cast of Bridge of Sighs — Russo’s first novel since his 2001 Pulitzer winner, Empire Falls — may have benefitted from a refresher course with Emerson.
  •   WAR, PEACE, AND ROBERT PINSKY  |  September 12, 2007
    Every few years, a fall publishing season emerges that should remind us that Boston could be the literary epicenter of America.
  •   HEAT WAVES  |  June 28, 2007
    “Summer joys are spoilt by use,” wrote John Keats, meaning the less you do between June and August, the better.

 See all articles by: JOHN FREEMAN