On the power of probability to haunt the ontology of everyday things.
It is one thing to take inspiration from another's work for one's own creative writing, but it is entirely another to complete a work first conceived and named in another's fiction. What to make of such fictions within fictions?
Blanchot (commenting on Priam's supplication of Achilles) says the choice in Homer is violence or speech. In Vergil, in the modern state, our choice is only violence or the silence, whether of Dido or Ajax, imposed upon us by our isolation within the emptiness of our dreams (Milton).
An updated version of Shelley's "The Mask of Anarchy" reflecting the 2016 election and its Republican presidential candidate.
Consider this: classic noir movies are about truth rather than erotic satisfaction. A MacGuffin pulls a narrative down a track criss-crossing the love story that will make the movie end happily. We want the happy ending, but not too soon.
On how memory relies on rhythm to fill in blanks by giving a silent voice to the unthought.
A note on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's decision to "translate" Shakespeare's plays for a contemporary audience.
Remembering the life, works, and ideas of the late film director.
On the mythological and biological necessity of work: "You can only survive if you work, since so much is working against you."
Can you guess these famous last words and their meaning?
William Flesch is the author, most recently, of Comeuppance: Costly Signaling, Altruistic Punishment, and Other Biological Components of Fiction (Harvard, 2008), and The Facts on File Companion to 19th Century British Literature. He teaches the history of poetry as well as the theory of poetic and narrative form at Brandeis, and has been International Chair Professor at the National Taipei University of Technology (2012) and Old Dominion Fellow of the Humanities Council and Visiting Professor at Princeton (2014-15).