California Literary Review

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The Importance of Henry Miller: A Letter From Father to Son

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December 15th, 2019

Through this dark canopy of industrialism, greed and pollution certain small punctures have allowed minute shafts of light to shine on our cowering selves. Henry Miller is one of these rays of light.

No Heroes Need Apply

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December 15th, 2019

By the time we come to T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway in the 1920’s, we find a hero characteristic of the period of entre les deux guerres: he is either passive and/or maimed in his masculinity; that is, fatally in his (phallic) heroism.

Counsel at Crossroads: Job and Arjuna

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December 14th, 2019

The Book of Job and a central section of the Indian epic Mahabharata present interesting perspectives on some timeless questions.

Spanish Cinema: Almodóvar and Amenábar

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December 14th, 2019

With camp, hedonistic and sexually vulgar films, notable for their strong, flamboyant women and their comic, melodramatic treatment of everything from necrophilia to the need to keep your eye on the gazpacho, Almodóvar has risen to the top of the Spanish film industry. But now…

Stemming from … Nowhere?

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December 13th, 2019

To sum up in a phrase the true and deepest character of Lawrence’s genius, it was given by his close friend Aldous Huxley in an introduction to the first collected letters shortly after his death: he was a mystical materialist. And thereon hangs the tale I shall unfold.

Liberalism, the Election, and the Republican Party

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December 13th, 2019

With President George W. Bush’s recent victory the Democratic Party-referred to in prior times as the “Democracy”-finds itself in disarray and denial, though the source of the myriad of weaknesses that afflict that political entity are really quite obvious.

Life, Death and Hip-Hop

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December 12th, 2019

Within Hip-Hop we discover the struggle of the artist to make sense of their unjust world and to find the balance between their desires (and everyday survival) and the morality of their actions to fulfill these desires.

Lola! Lola! Lola!

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December 12th, 2019

The notion of Art’s secular epiphany takes us to Vladimir Nabokov, a reader of Joyce. As I recall, it was about 1956 or so that an excerpt of his then unpublishable LOLITA appeared in an early number of Anchor Review.

America’s Race to the Moon

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December 11th, 2019

During the Apollo 15 mission, an anonymous viewer phoned his local TV station to suggest that a large rock discovered by the astronauts should be named in honor of “a taxpayer selected at random from the computers of the Internal Revenue Service.”

The Life of R.K. Narayan

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December 11th, 2019

R.K. Narayan Narayan’s fiction rarely addresses political issues or high philosophy. He writes with grace and humor, about a fictional town Malgudi and its inhabitants; and their little lives. Narayan is a classic teller of tales; an enduring appeal springs from his canvas where common men and women of all times and places are joined […]

Nick Bottom’s Blessing

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December 10th, 2019

The relativism that relishes diversity for diversity’s sake is one that eschews æsthetic judgment or choice. Both however are necessary.

Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer

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December 10th, 2019

Meanwhile, every billion dollars spent on the supremely misguided attempt to revivify the nuclear industry is a theft from the production of cheap renewable electricity. Think what these billions could do if invested in the development of wind power, solar power, cogeneration, geothermal energy, biomass, and tidal and wave power, let alone basic energy conservation, which itself could save the United States 20% of the electricity it currently consumes.

Oil and Africa

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December 9th, 2019

[Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Adam Robert’s new book The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs and a Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa.] Africa, overall, has a handy supply of oil. Its known reserves are small compared with the Middle East: it may have 100 billion barrels of […]

The Death of Conscience in The Onion Field

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December 9th, 2019

The stifling, frightening conclusion that we appear to be presented with in The Onion Field is that such a dream really is only a dream, that human beings may, in fact, have no inbuilt or inherent moral conscience, and that they can carry out the most self-evidently horrifying of crimes against one another with no checks, no trepidations, and no regrets.

Roses & Bulbul Birds

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December 8th, 2019

What’s intriguing about the dreadful psychology of Muslim, particularly Shiite [read Hizbollah] fundamentalism, is that aspect of terrible fixity, that manifests itself as a kind of violent sleepwalking in its adherents.

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