Articles by Lydia Kiesling
December 7, 2013
When I wasn’t reading a bunch of depressing shit, I read some strange and wonderful things.
November 5, 2013
Let’s say that my previous efforts with this book were equivalent to the disappointing herbal cigarette from a store called Groovy Vibes, or a bag of mulch obtained at the concert from someone’s questionable cousin. But this time I got, so to speak, the good shit. You eat the Henry James mushrooms, you look upon his dense thicket of sentences, his plodding parade of commas, and suddenly the text, and the entire world, come into insane focus.
October 9, 2013
The Circle occupies an awkward place of satire and self-importance.
September 23, 2013
Twitter somehow encompasses both sides of the Emily Dickinson dichotomy. On Twitter, the Nobodies have seized hold of the mic and managed to occupy the bog.
August 21, 2013
I never see a 7-Eleven Big Bite and don’t instinctively desire to eat it. I know that Heinz ketchup is unmistakable and precious. A new paperback purchased with crisp American dollars? That’s bliss. A Stephen King book? That’s Shangri-la.
July 16, 2013
Trying to find a name for Charlie Smith’s genre or style, I come up with “Disordered Lives of the Poets.” But how to pigeonhole this new novel? Lapsarian Lyric? Casuarina Crime? Key Noir? James Wood would think of something good.
June 5, 2013
There is a small, deadly class of book that makes you never want to set pen to paper again. Tao Lin’s novel is a grave case of this kind, where you are faced with the consequences of writing down all the things you do or think. What if they sound like this? Colorless, witless, humorless. Picking out individual passages cannot express their cumulative monotonous assault on the senses.
May 30, 2013
One hundred years later, Modernism seems like a biggish tent. But really, it’s about as descriptive a term as “sandwich;” reading the learned essays invoked, in my crude mind, a long-running argument that my friends have about what is or is not a sandwich. Is a taco a sandwich? A hotdog? It is all a darkness.
May 15, 2013
When I read Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle opine recently that Romeo + Juliet was ‘too contemptible even to be called a desecration,’ I know that he never lay in virginal bed with headphones and discman, listened to Thom Yorke utter the eternal invitation, “I’ll be waiting, with a gun and a pack of sandwiches,” and just felt so much.
April 26, 2013
The Book Club is not hip, but on Monday evening, I felt the spiritual glamour of a place, which, despite its age and sometime pokiness, is founded on the fundamentally sound principle that if you have three glasses of wine in a plastic cup and listen to something beautiful or see it, it can change the whole complexion of the world.