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About the Author

Wendy Lesser is the founder and editor of The Threepenny Review and the author of a novel and a number of nonfiction books. She has written for The New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, The New York Review of Books, and other publications. To complete this biography, she received mostrar mais one of the first National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar awards. mostrar menos

Includes the name: Wendy Lesser

Image credit: Photo by Charles Haynes, on Flickr


Obras por Wendy Lesser

Associated Works

The Future Dictionary of America (2004) — Contribuidor — 628 exemplares
The State of the Language [1990] (1979) — Contribuidor — 88 exemplares
McSweeney's Issue 44 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) (2013) — Contribuidor — 48 exemplares
Best Music Writing 2011 (Da Capo Best Music Writing) (2011) — Contribuidor — 44 exemplares
The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s (2002) — Contribuidor — 41 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



I have yet to finish this book and have reordered it from the library. The chapter on translations [a:Haruki Murakami|3354|Haruki Murakami|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1350230608p2/3354.jpg],[a:Dostoevsky|7708342|Dostoevsky|https://www.goodreads.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-d9f6a4a5badfda0f69e70cc94d962125.png] and [a:MANKELL HENNING|7710745|MANKELL HENNING|https://www.goodreads.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-d9f6a4a5badfda0f69e70cc94d962125.png] seduced me as did the list of 100 books to read for pleasure.… (mais)
featherbooks | 10 outras críticas | May 7, 2024 |
I can't remember much about this book, after all the years since I read it.
mykl-s | Aug 13, 2023 |
from Chapter Four, "Authority":

...The point of all this is that literature can never be *just* a trick. We need to feel that something more is at stake, that something is truly being created where nothing was before...It would be inaccurate to say that authoritarian works command while works with authority persuade, for even the word "persuasion" is too blinkered, too end-achieving, too personally manipulative to cover the methods employed by the most powerful literature. (But the words "method," "employ," and "power" are also suspect here. They are blunt instruments standing in for something that is far more delicate and in fact nearly indiscernible.) The author who possesses authority has no palpable designs on us: we barely exist for him, just as he barely exists for us...And yet at some point in the process of reading, if the work has authority enough, the self yields.

this passage (in full, anyhow...go read the whole thing!) and this chapter explained a lot for me. I avoided reading _The Color Purple_ for, like, 20 years because of all the snarky (at best) criticism of Alice Walker's place in the new canon. I didn't feel like reading anything super-manipulative and/or just not that good, and I reallyreallyreally didn't want a reading experience that would make me side with the Bad Guys. so when I finally read the novel ( because one should), I was doubly resistant...and yet, it happened: Walker's writing established an aesthetic authority to which my stupid, scared self yielded entirely.

at the same time, Lesser's notion of authority seems to explain why Eugenides leaves me cold. when I read him, I can *feel* his end-achieving designs in a way that embarrasses me. like a "miss u" text from someone you just met: dude, is your nose running? like seeing somebody wearing a Nirvana t-shirt: do you even Pixies? thx for making *me* feel like a dick, you dick.

it isn't that I dislike perceiving an author's designs on me; I am definitely not so cool that I'm not flattered by the attention. but when the author who barely exists to my barely-existing reader is, say, a more artful McSweeney's type, then that discernible design-- however overt or even heavy-handed--is more like seeing somebody wearing Velvet Underground knee socks. like, ok, i'm looking at you, so good job, but now tell me more.
… (mais)
alison-rose | 10 outras críticas | May 22, 2023 |
The author's one word answer to the question asked by the title of her book is pleasure. That is an answer that, as a reader myself, I can understand and share. But the pleasures of her book go beyond that to explore various aspects of books and reading that contribute to the many pleasures and perhaps even joy of reading.
jwhenderson | 10 outras críticas | Oct 23, 2022 |



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