Javier Sicilia: Grief, Poetry and Passion

Ever since his son, Juan Francisco, was murdered along with five friends by members of a drug cartel, award-winning Mexican poet and debout Catholic Javier Sicilia has said, "Poetry doesn't exist in me anymore." Fortunately for everyone, it seems to have stuck around long enough to get him through the funeral, where he recited these verses:The world is not worthy of wordsthey have been suffocated from the insideas they suffocated you, as they tore apart your lungs ...the pain does not … [Read more...]

How to Make Prudery Readable?

For my curtain call, I'd like to solicit thoughts on an essay that appeared several months ago in the Times. Critic Katie Roiphe argues that this generation of male novelist writes lousy sex toys. A bold previous generation, including Norman Mailer, Philip Roth and John Updike, regarded sex -- particularly transgressive sex, like adultery, hate-couplings and some liaisons that come dangerously close to rape -- as material deserving thoughtful explication. This new generation, including … [Read more...]