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Literary theory, international literature, poetry, biography and books

From LRB, Terry Eagleton reviews Mikhail Bakhtin: The Word in the World by Graham Pechey. A review of Words and Thoughts: Subsentences, Ellipsis, and the Philosophy of Language by Robert J. Stainton. An interview with American writer Douglas Kennedy on the "Kennedy Theory of Human Behaviour".

From Slate, how one family became a dynasty in the world of British letters: Geoffrey Wheatcroft reviews Autobiography of a Family: Fathers and Sons by Alexander Waugh. I dream of Darcy: A new wave of Austen-mania revolves around ballgowns, romance and Colin Firth's sexy breeches. But what would Jane Austen say about this fantasy of the perfect man? By the time it appeared in Paris bookstores in 2004, Suite Française, an unfinished novel by unknown author Irene Nemirovsky, who had been dead for 62 years, announced a publishing phenomenon. More on Gunter Grass’s Peeling the Onion, a verbally dazzling but often infuriating piece of work.

Welcome to the bizarre, baroque world of Luis de Góngora (1561-1627), greatest of Spanish poets, and his unfinished masterpiece, The Solitudes. No weirder poem has ever been written. QuickMuse.com, the modern descendant of ancient Greek poetry jousts, has been asking pairs of well-known writers to create poems on a shared topic and posting the results online. Ann Patchett, Terry McMillan, Nathan Englander, Rick Moody and Nicholas Montemarano, five authors who have made their names writing fiction try their pens at a new genre for The Washington Post Magazine's Summer Reading Issue. Each of their nonfiction memoirs of summer is a tale of personal transformation.

From Salon, an interview with Meryle Secrest, author of Shoot the Widow: Adventures of a Biographer in Search of Her Subject (and a review). A review of Strange Piece of Paradise: A Return to the American West to Investigate My Attempted Murder - and Solve the Riddle of It by Terri Jentz. A review of My Name is Anne, She Said, Anne Frank: The Memoirs of Anne Frank’s Best Friend by Jacqueline van Maarsen. Wake up, wake up, you sleepyhead: The return to life of a Polish worker after 19 years in a coma leads Robert Wiersema to examine literary equivalents.

From The Village Voice, how the Gotham Book Mart came tumbling down—and its hopes to live again. Would you like that book in paper or plastic? No-paper volumes' ruggedness, recyclability touted, but problems suggest themselves. First person singular: It's good for children to face fear through books.