ELECTORAL GAINS of the Muslim Brotherhood, most recently in Egypt and Libya, suggest that the Arab Spring came in like a lion and went out like a lamb to slaughter. Democracy, having conquered the Arab world, has yielded to Islamist autocrats its spoils.
THERE IS an enormous store of narrative concerning the working habits of authors, much of it interesting and in my case consumed with amusement but skepticism also.
When the terrible European war which everyone had known for years was coming finally did arrive, W. H. Auden composed a poem, “September 1, 1939,” which begins:
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
Continue reading The Decay Of Poetry In The Year Of Revolution