The Reading Room/3
REPORT FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN: its myriad voices, mysteries and eternal paradoxes are evoked in a section of Amos Oz's new novel The Same Sea (published by Harcourt, Inc.) and in Jon Papernick's tale of Jews and Arabs living in Israel. The Spanish writer Fanny Rubio gives a freshly intense interpretation of Mary Magdalene -- was she in reality Jesus's wife? Nadia Benabid translates for the first time Angel Vasque's masterpiece The Vida Perra of Juanita Narboni. Written in Jaketia, a combination of Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic spoken by the Jewish community in Tangier, Juanita Narboni is to 1950s Tangier what Molly Bloom is to Dublin. Juan Goytisolo fires a blast at the corruption of the Spanish literary scene heard through Europe.
Saul Bellow reflects on writing and the life of a writer and Norman Birnbaum wryly recalls his time as a Yank in postwar Oxford.
THE TIMES WE LIVE IN are brilliantly evoked by Michael Carroll, Alan Cheuse, Stanley Crouch, Stephen Dixon, Elizabeth Gaffney, Judith Rossner and Miriam Rugel, Judith Kellem and Ingrid Lundy.
Charles-Louis Philippe's Bubu of Montparnasse (final section), the favorite French modernist novel of T.S.Eliot and Anais Nin, depicting the world of teen-aged pimps and prostitutes in Belle Epoque Paris, is amazingly contemporary in its concerns and language. POET'S CORNER: Sally Dawidoff, Lisa Katz Don Maggin and Elizabeth Morse.
ART PORTFOLIO: Art by the Spanish artist Gonzalo Torné and drawings by Bill Anthony, inspired by Balthus, Dylan Thomas and John Gruen.
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