What the Editors Are Reading

As usual, there are too many books on my reading table.  As I continue with Les Trois Mousquetaires,which gets better with every page, I’m also finishing La parabola di Giobbe, a work of Christology (among other things) by David Maria Turoldo, a very holy man heavily inspired by Teilhard de Chardin, in whose own work I find, as Flannery O’Connor did, interesting things, despite his much disputed reputation.

Having recently picked up Henry James’s Selected Literary Criticism at a secondhand bookshop, I’m impressed by the acuity of the novelist’s critical perceptions.  Among the essays I’ve read so far, I find the one on Zola especially admirable, while the devastating “Mr. Walt Whitman” (1865) exposes that fraudulent old windbag and poseur for what he was and is a pure delight to read.

I had never read Laurence Binyon’s translation of The Divine Comedy, despite having kept a copy in my library for years beside translations by John Ciardi and John D. Sinclair, and so I’ve begun reading a few cantos every night before bed.  Binyon’s rendering is more formal than Ciardi’s and Sinclair’s, and from what I can discern of the original medieval Italian perhaps more faithful in that regard. ...

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