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Terence Clarke's Blog

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Feb.27.2008
A few years ago, as an exercise to test how my studies in the Spanish language were going, I translated the 52nd sonnet from Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda’s book Cien sonetos de amor (100 Sonnets of Love). One of his most popular works in Chile, this book is a declaration of intense, profound,...
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Feb.26.2008
Eva Perón poured out her personal feelings through a combination of her remarkable image -- fueled by photography, fashion and make-up -- and forceful public policy. She was as controversial as she was in part because there was so little nuance in what she wanted to be or what she wished to do...
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Feb.22.2008
I wrote recently about the 1957 obscenity trial of Howl, And Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg. I felt a certain nostalgia writing the piece, because the trial took place fifty years ago when I was a kid, and the Beatnik writers, of whom Ginsberg became the most famous, seem so rarified to me now. It’s...
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Feb.16.2008
You might be surprised when you walk into the Caffé Trieste, which is at the corner of Vallejo Street and Grant Avenue in San Francisco, to find that it is included in this survey of great cafés.  It is sloppy, for one. There is no table service. You stand in line at the counter to place your order...
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Feb.14.2008
Astor Piazzolla's music is nothing if not controversial. Among the Argentines themselves, there seems to be two opinions. One was voiced to me some years ago by an Argentine tanguera whose artistic views I always listen to, when she said that "Tango is tango, and Piazzolla is not!" The...
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Feb.12.2008
Globalization is one thing — the striking down of economic barriers so that Jimmy Choo shoes and Vespas and hot new software and iPhones can be manufactured and sold anywhere. But when it comes to American business, only large corporations have the economic clout to effect such a thing, and it is a...
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Feb.08.2008
I was taught as a child that the Roman Catholic Church was the one true apostolic religious faith in the world. Protestantism certainly wasn't it, and I assume that the various Jesuit, Franciscan, and secular priests who asserted all this were just as unaccepting of other heresies like Buddhism,...
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Jan.29.2008
On that day in 1994 I didn't know how to walk. "What do you mean?" I asked Nora. She stepped toward one of the chairs at the edge of the practice room, before the large mirror. Traffic noise from Geary Street poured in the open windows. She sat down and crossed her legs. I felt...
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Jan.29.2008
Red Room author Patry Francis has recently published a new book entitled The Liar's Diary. You can find it at Amazon.com, and I urge you to read it. I think you'll enjoy it. Please go to Patry's website at http://www.patryfrancis.com/ for more information.  
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Jan.23.2008
Harriet Doerr, who died five years ago at age 92, was a literary late bloomer. Her first novel, Stones for Ibarra, was published in 1984, when she was 74. It came upon the world like a great chrysanthemum firework and was on best-seller lists for months. She was instantly famous because of the book...
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Jan.22.2008
1. Nora sensed that I was weakened, doubtful, unhappy. "Poeta," she said. "There is a moment when a man has to study with a man. I can teach you much more about the tango, take you much farther down the path. . ." She fingered the glass of wine before her. The beef steak...
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Jan.09.2008
There will come a day, and it will be soon, upon which a great novel of the Iraq war will be published.   If you're an American fighting there, the war in Iraq is a clearly foolish endeavor in which you've been sent to fight and possibly die for frivolously presented, very inscrutable reasons...
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Jan.09.2008
There is a tango entitled "Tengo Miedo", written in 1929. Tu cariño me enloquece. Tu pasión me da la vida. Sinembargo tengo miedo, tengo miedo de quererte. (Your affection drives me crazy. Your passion gives me life. But just the same I'm afraid, I'm afraid to love you.) In New York...
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Jan.04.2008
I consider it a privilege -- although it came as a big surprise to me to learn about it -- to have written one of the very few novels that exist about the Irish in San Francisco. It was a surprise because the familial conversations in the book, the Catholicism, the manner of expression, the...
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Dec.23.2007
The word "café" has immediate associations for everyone. We all know what one is, and in every major city in the world you can arrange a meeting with an acquaintance by simply suggesting a certain café around the corner, a baroque favorite in some odd neighborhood or the famous cafe you'...
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