Articles by Kevin Hartnett
February 23, 2012
My son has a long way to go until he’s reading The Brothers Karamazov, but hopefully not so long that he forgets about Stinking Lizaveta before he gets there. I hope I’ll be near at hand, or only a phone call away, when he discovers that the funny name we used to whisper to each other is actually a very sad character in a great novel, and that the line between life and art is arbitrary, if it exists at all.
January 23, 2012
It occurred to me that the Grand Inquisitor’s interpretation of the Temptation of Christ effectively describes the power I hold over my two sons.
December 18, 2011
Following on months of transition and many sleepless newborn nights, Murakami’s rare, strange story gave me back my human shape.
November 14, 2011
I stopped questioning the purpose of fiction and instead began to see reading 1Q84 as one of the few necessary things I did all day. The reasons for the change of heart had to do with wonder, with love, and with the way literature provides for the best parts of who we are.
July 12, 2011
If the narrative isn’t unfolding the way you want it, you can’t just change the details to make it better, the way you would when writing fiction. You have to represent the truth.
May 19, 2011
The market for children’s books is probably more resistant to cultural churn than just about any other slice of the consumer economy; it’s a closed circuit that reproduces itself one generation after another.
May 9, 2011
Did Wallace’s speech resonate on the hot Ohio morning when he delivered it to the assembled student, or did it get lost amid the hurrah of a graduation weekend?
January 10, 2011
The Internet was the big bogeyman, the great scapegoat of 2010.
October 21, 2010
These are the things my son James has been afraid of in the 16-months that he’s been alive: The grinding blender, the roaring vacuum, disembodied voices on the speaker phone, the time I pantomimed a broken leg, being put to bed alone in his crib.
October 8, 2010
I find with bad movies that usually there comes a point at which I realize that no matter what follows, there’s little chance that the film is going to be good.