'The American Isherwood' edited by James J. Berg and Chris Freeman

The basic tenet of the artfully edited The American Isherwood by James J. Berg and Chris Freeman (University of Minnesota Press) is that a writer owns nothing else but his experience. In this sense, Christopher Isherwood was an “existentialist,” not in a murky hopeless way but by firmly clutching the idea that experience counts as… read more

‘Twelve Views from the Distance’ by Mutsuo Takahashi

Katsushika Hokusai is best known for “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa,” a masterpiece of Japanese woodblock prints, ukiyo-e. And even though “The Great Wave” was a part of a series, Thirty-Six Views of Fuji, it has almost eclipsed the rest of Hokusai’s work.  Similarly, the poet Mutsuo Takahashi is best known for his homoerotic poetry, particularly… read more

'Christopher Isherwood in America: Middlebrow Queer' by Jaime Harker

Perhaps the best way to approach Christopher Isherwood in America: Middlebrow Queer (University 0f Minnesota Press) by Jaime Harker is one idea at a time. The second half of Harker’s subtitle—Queer—of course refers to Queer Studies, a field in which “queer” has begun to mean so many things it may soon mean little to nothing at all…. read more