Did anyone see a new year around here? Not me, apparently. I haven’t posted here since mid-December. Without going into the reasons for that—I picture William H. Macy in Fargo shaking his head and saying, “but there are personal matters, you see, personal matters, they needn’t…”—let’s just say that January (the month with record snowfalls in a single month and for the month of January, in CT, I’m told) was pretty much a blur, and February? Well, I have the feeling that there was some kind of little anteroom to the blitz of January and I’m only now realizing we’re on the other side of it, what with lion-winds and big bluster and the light lingering longer in the sky come evening. It’s March. Growl.
So, just to show that I haven’t been a mole in the ground, here are links to things I’m rather proud of having tossed off: First of all, there’s a review of historian Sean Wilentz's book on Dylan and his context; another on One with Others, C.D. Wright’s latest book, a very involving read; and a review of local poet Charles Douthat’s first volume of poetry, Blue for Oceans, published by a local fledgling imprint, New Haven Review Books, and of course I wish them all the best. Then there are a few theater reviews at the website of NHR: one on Simon Gray's Old Masters, with Sam Waterston as Bernard Berenson; another on a revival of Angus Wilson’s The Piano Lesson at the Yale Rep (where it debuted in its original run with Samuel L. Jackson in the cast), another about an avant-garde troupe from Austin, TX, called Rude Mechs; and, most lately, a review of a collection of reviews and essays by the deftly dis-ing poetry critic William Logan, a book review that, in some ways, might inaugurate a new stage in this biz of blogging and critting, at least to the extent that it points me toward something a bit more reflective. Why write? you ask. And why write criticism? Good questions, both. Logan has his reasons and I might have mine too.