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Salmagundi – Spring/Summer 2005

Salmagundi continues to offer up work that is challenging, not because it is unusual or inventive, but because it is thoughtful in the truest sense of the word. Thinking, is in fact, the subject of one of this issue’s many splendid essays: “The (Possible) Reasons for the Sadness of Thought,” by the ever thought-provoking George Steiner. Salmagundi continues to offer up work that is challenging, not because it is unusual or inventive, but because it is thoughtful in the truest sense of the word. Thinking, is in fact, the subject of one of this issue’s many splendid essays: “The (Possible) Reasons for the Sadness of Thought,” by the ever thought-provoking George Steiner. Steiner considers German philosopher Schelling’s writings about the relationship between cognition and “heaviness of heart.” The essay is dense, but highly readable, and nothing could seem more apt for the current times. Mary Gordon contributes a long and engaging essay about—what else—Mary Gordon (well, this one is about her mother, “Still Life – Bonnard and My Mother’s Death”). Terry Caesar’s short essay, “English in Japan,” is a fascinating look at the uses and misuses of English in Japan where she lives. The two interviews presented this issue couldn’t be more different, Robert Hosmer with Muriel Spark and Beata Polanowska-Sygulska with the late Isaiah Berlin. Both are excellent. At moments I pondered the relationship between Spark’s remarks and the Steiner essay. “Art is an illusion which contains the truth,” she says. There is exciting poetry here, too, including a beautiful tribute to poet Daniel Simko by Carolyn Forché. [www.skidmore.edu/salmagundi/141/index.htm] – Sima Rabinowitz

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