Saturday, April 29, 2017
Subscribe to our RSS feed:
Questions, comments, concerns

Roy Kesey Archive

Roy Kesey

Untimely Book Reviews: The Voyage of Johannes de Plano Carpini

September 2nd, 2007
by Roy Kesey

BEIJING, CHINA-

The Voyage of Johannes de Plano Carpini Author: Johannes de Plano Carpini ISBN: unknown, probably low four-digits Publication Date: 1249 A.D. Publisher: Pope Innocent IV Please be forewarned: I am not speaking, here, of Erik Hildinger’s relatively recent and by all accounts eminently readable translation of de Plano Carpini’s Historia Mongalorum Quos Nos Tartaros Appellamus, of which I have not yet gotten ahold. I am speaking instead of the version of that text that later appeared as the second chapter of the thirty-second book of Vicentius Beluacensis’ Speculum Historiale, and was translated and reprinted in the 1598-1600 edition of Richard Hakluyt’s Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries. (more…)


Roy Kesey

Untimely Book Reviews: Almost No Memory

July 17th, 2007
by Roy Kesey

BEIJING, CHINA-

Almost No Memory, by Lydia Davis
ISBN: 9780312420550
Publisher: Picador USA
Publication Date: September 2001
Dimensions: 7.92 x 5.48 x. 47 in., .55 lbs.

There is high genius here. Of the fifty or so stories, I will return over and over to perhaps ten of them. And even as regards the ones I won’t return to, it is most often a question not of fictional failure but of personal taste, the way someone else might not understand my enthusiasm for Hopkins, and I might not understand their enthusiasm for Swinburne, but we can still play buzkashi together, for example, and eat some bacon, if both of us happened to like buzkashi and bacon.

(more…)


Roy Kesey

An Open Letter to the Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine

July 13th, 2007
by Roy Kesey

BEIJING, CHINA-

Dear Sir or Ma’am:

I am writing to you today in response to the letter you published in your issue of February 22nd of this year (Volume 356 — Number 8) from one Oronte Churm of Inner Station, in which said person states, “It’s come to my attention that some members of my community object to the term ‘double-enders,’ which I used recently to describe a vicious bout of simultaneous explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting. I was simply being discreet, but one would never know it from the looks I got from Ms. Nipple, the schoolmarm; Mr. Reacharound, the parson; and Major Waste, who is fresh back from the war.

(more…)


Roy Kesey

Strings

May 30th, 2007
by Roy Kesey

BEIJING, CHINA-

Shelter_door_diagonal_2

The diagonalness of this photograph is important without being intentional. More on that in a moment, but for the time being, this: I am not a great fan of puppets. I am, however, a fan of puppet emperors. Or, rather, not a fan of them as such, but intrigued by their lives: the gilded cage, the symbols removed from all practical context–absolute powerlessness in the guise of absolute power.

(more…)


Roy Kesey

Of the Plum Blossom Festival and Some Things That Happened There

March 22nd, 2007
by Roy Kesey

BEIJING-

(All photographs by Jeff Cheap, used with grateful thanks.)

Not long ago I was in Nanjing for neither the first nor last time and was invited to participate in the 2007 Nanjing International Plum Blossom Festival. The exact nature of my participatory role was somewhat unclear to me, as such things most often are, but I walked happily up to the festival nonetheless, mainly because I had never seen the plum trees of Plum Blossom Hill in bloom, and had always wanted to. (more…)