Albert Mobilio

  • Novels in Three Lines

    Anarchist and aesthete, Félix Fénéon was a pivotal, if not unavoidable, figure in fin de siècle Paris. He promoted the careers of Seurat, Bonnard, and Toulouse-Lautrec; a regular at Mallarmé’s salon, he edited Rimbaud’s Illuminations and published the first public edition of Lautréamont’s Chants de Maldoror. Failure to publish a book of his own (at least during his lifetime) didn’t inhibit his reputation as an elegant stylist, though much of what he wrote appeared anonymously. Such was the case when, in 1906, he began producing three-line items for the Parisian daily Le Matin. The results of

  • Come Alive! The Spirited Art of Sister Corita

    In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 Roman Catholic Church conclave that proposed liberalizing church doctrine, many priests and nuns found affirmation of their growing roles as social activists. Frances Elizabeth Kent, a Sister of the Immaculate Heart better known as Sister Mary Corita, had already embarked on that path as an artist, producing bold, colorful prints that proclaimed the good news for modern man with the eclectic verve that came to define '60s graphic style. While teaching art at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles at the beginning of that decade, Corita

  • Samuel Beckett CDs

    No one has done the voice inside the head, ever present as we dice and chop life’s minutiae into apposite syllables— that “murmur, now precise as the headwaiter’s”—so accurately as Samuel Beckett. He remains the master of depicting mental paralysis, registering with circular syntax (there is always another but, yet, perhaps, or) the provisional, self-consuming logic that mires the soul at the starting line. Beckett achieved a kind of apotheosis of this style in three novels—Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable—all composed in the late ’40s while he was living in France. In these works, as in

  • On the Record

    When did what writers say in interviews become at least as important as what they actually write? If readers once pried at their paragraphs looking for revelations, they are now more likely to graze their quips in some magazine—"Twenty Questions" in the New York Times Magazine. Gertrude Stein—herself no mean quipster—rebuked Ernest Hemingway by saying, "Remarks are not literature," but like many such bons mots, hers doesn't quite hold up. The author interview, which has truly come into its own in the last century (in antebellum America, newspaper interviews were reserved chiefly for convicted