Desk Notes by Charles Schifano

Charles Schifano
Exploring writing, travel, and literature—with a new issue every Friday.
Created 31 Jul 2020
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  • A Cold Wind
    01 Apr 2022
    Lisbon 2017 Desk Notes explores writing, travel, and literature—with a new issue every Friday. Subscribe now And now we’ve reached the time of year when the weather acts like a jester, teasing us with...
  • A Low Dishonest Decade
    25 Mar 2022
    I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade September 1, 1939 W. H. Auden I Prague 2011 Here is Count Pierre Kirillovich ...
  • All Those Fanatical Writers
    18 Mar 2022
    La Spezia 2019 In a 1950 letter to the publisher Jamie Hamilton, the always pugnacious Raymond Chandler took a moment to complain about writers. Your Paris trip sounds like a typical publisher’s jaunt...
  • Soundless
    11 Mar 2022
    New York 2015 Desk Notes explores writing, travel, and literature—with a new issue every Friday. Subscribe now Nothing makes you doubt the merits of a music education more than a neighbor who takes up...
  • The Correspondents
    04 Mar 2022
    Rome 2016 Desk Notes explores writing, travel, and literature—with a new issue every Friday. Subscribe now Stuffing a few shirts and some notebooks into a small backpack before jumping onto a plane to...
  • More Than One Mistake
    25 Feb 2022
    In the fall of 2020, I wrote the paragraphs below. I found myself looking over them again this morning and decided that they were—after a few edits—just as relevant today. Black Sea, Constanța 2018 De...
  • Against The Novel of Validation
    18 Feb 2022
    London 2011 Desk Notes explores writing, travel, and literature—with a new issue every Friday. Subscribe now Just before the halfway mark of Ian McEwan’s 2012 novel Sweet Tooth, we arrive at a sentenc...
  • The Result of Chance
    11 Feb 2022
    Angra dos Reis, Brazil 2019 Desk Notes explores writing, travel, and literature—with a new issue every Friday. Subscribe now For many years I preferred to swim in a pool rather than the ocean, to play...
  • Reader Questions—The Problem With Contemporary Writing
    04 Feb 2022
    Rome 2016 The first bit of news is that last week’s Desk Notes triggered a flood of messages and comments and also brought along a lot of new readers. The second bit of news is that there are, well, s...
  • The Problem With Contemporary Writing
    28 Jan 2022
    Rome 2016 Desk Notes explores writing, travel, and literature—with a new issue every Friday. Subscribe now To care about the state and quality of writing today is to scream into a void while knowing t...
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