Mark Traphagen | July 31, 2011
I’m somewhat amused that on pp. 92-93 of Douglas Coupland’s novel The Gum Thief, Coupland has a character who is an extremely boring and self-absorbed novelist rattle off a recommended reading list that is really quite excellent. Just added all of the suggestions to my “to read” list on Goodreads. Here’s the passage, with links to [...]
Mark Traphagen | July 30, 2011
Dylan Brody is to storytelling what John Coltrane is to jazz instrumentals. Just as Coltrane never just “played” a song, but made every note his own and shaped them into something new and unique, so Dylan Brody never just “tells” a story. He treats the very words like musical notes, shaping them, bending them, shifting [...]
Mark Traphagen | September 29, 2010
My dear friend, author and prolific book reviewer Mindy Withrow, has just published her review of The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson. So pleased to see she “got” it and loved it as much as I did.
Mark Traphagen | September 23, 2010
This entry is part of a series, Secret Life of the Secret Life of Emily Dickinson» This essay is part of a series on the dreamscape aspects of Jerome Charyn’s novel, The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson. To see other entries in the series, click the link at the top of this post. This series [...]
Mark Traphagen | September 14, 2010
In “Holyoke,” the first section of The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, we saw Emily taking the first steps outside the tight confines of Squire Dickinson’s West Street home. There she does things she never would have dared to attempt while under her Father’s ever-vigilant eye, including the pursuit of a forbidden man, her “burglar” Tom. She also has an up-close-and-personal encounter with the revivalist religion of her day, and says, “No, thank you.”
In this second section, Emily comes home, but she will never again be satisfied with just being her Father’s “sweet Dolly.” She begins to explore the wilder side of the Amherst beyond her dooryard, and we are increasingly unsure how much of this happens in “reality” and how much in her fantasies and dreams.