Monthly Archives: October 2013

“My Crazy Century,” by Ivan Klíma

Sometime before Christmas we were paid a visit by Vlasta Kratochvílová. This woman, my father told me beforehand, was the bravest person he knew. She had risked her life many times over—to deliver mail to Terezín, to acquire needed medicines, and even to procure weapons. I was expecting a heroic-looking woman, but when she arrived […]

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“So Long Dos Passos,” Pavel Lembersky

It’s just that long long ago we lived in a city by the sea where in the summertime our bodies tanned brown as chocolate. We started smoking early and in July we would entertain ourselves by flipping our cigarette butts off the balcony and making bets on whether they’d land on the sidewalk or hang […]

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Michael Hofmann on Benn, “the greatest German poet since Rilke”

Though Gottfried Benn can scarcely be said to exist in the English-speaking world, there are a surprising number of prominent mentions of him. T. S. Eliot for instance, in his essay “The Three Voices of Poetry” goes so far as to associate one such voice—the first, “the voice of the poet talking to himself—or to […]

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Elmer Diktonius—Swedish/Finnish radical on the road

Was it poetry I wrote? I thought I exploded and hurled my iron-splinter into the world. Truly, I even wanted: to sow discord to beget discontent to bite reluctantly into tremendous leaps— but most of this was perhaps a “must.” My sacredness: that I was burnable. • I’m not pretentious enough to call this poetry. […]

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Stig Dagerman in New York

Little Star is pleased to be taking part in an evening at Scandinavia House on October 22 celebrating the work of the extraordinary writer, Stig Dagerman, featured this week in Little Star Weekly. After a childhood marked by violence and abandonment, Dagerman found his vocation as a writer by joining up as a teenager with […]

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Iran: Poems of Dissent

This week in Little Star Weekly we feature “In this Blind Alley,” by Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlou, a poem dating from the days after the revolution of 1979. Shamlou  (1925–2000) was born in Tehran and raised in the Iranian provinces, spending time in prison during World War II and after the British- and American-led coup of […]

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Friedrich Dürrenmatt on the sorrows of the large state (1959)

In Europe, one often hears that the main difference between American and European theater consists in the fact that America’s great dramatists write realistically, even naturalistically, in contrast to the Europeans who are abstract, more speculative, who in short constitute the avant-garde. Admittedly this is a very sweeping judgment, but it is a judgment one […]

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