Articles by Matt Seidel

March 25, 2015

The Weight of Knowledge: On Moving Books 8

It would be trickier to decide whom to put in the adult diaper boxes.

March 9, 2015

The Inanity of American Plutocracy: On Paul Beatty’s ‘The Sellout’ 1

Beatty’s voice is as appealing, erudite, and entertaining. It is a lacerating, learned, witty, and vulgar voice — brash and vulnerable and self-righteous in its jeremiad against self-righteousness of any kind.

February 18, 2015

Nothing But a Hound Dog: Mikheil’s Javakhishvili’s ‘Kvachi’ 2

The novel, which began as a series of sketches, hurtles from one of Kvachi’s scams, scrapes, or seductions to the next, pausing every so often to drive home the monstrosity of its hero.

February 2, 2015

Gone in Thirty Seconds: On Michael J. Arlen’s Advertising Drama 0

The N.W. Ayer advertising agency came up with AT&T’s “Reach Out” campaign and its accompanying ditty, which melodically encouraged both telephone users and subway gropers to “Reach out, reach out, and touch someone!”

January 29, 2015

Garnish with a Sprig of Dorothy Parker: The Literary Meet Market 5

In terms of historical significance, The Summit’s publication falls somewhere between the Yalta Conference and this year’s Baseball Winter Meetings, at which the Yankees shored up their bullpen by signing a pitcher, Andrew Miller, whom Brian Cashman touted as Ron Guidry meets Emily Dickinson.

January 22, 2015

A Scorching Farce: Brock Clarke’s ‘The Happiest People in the World’ 0

The first law of farce is that bodies in motion will eventually collide, and Clarke orchestrates the inevitable collision by beckoning each character from across the world and assembling them at the Lumber Lodge under the watchful eye of the moose.

December 21, 2014

A Year in Reading: Matt Seidel 1

As our planet has rotated once again around the sun in a nearly perfect circle, I will now highlight several books from this year’s reading that move in more eccentric orbits

November 18, 2014

The Robert Burton Diet 4

Atkins, South Beach, Microbiome, Paleo: all these faddish regimens might slim you down, but can they regulate your humours? I think not.

November 12, 2014

Bookends from the New York Times Book Review: The Rejected Questions 1

Can the state of contemporary literature be used to forecast stock prices?

October 31, 2014

The Art of Terror: Robert Aickman’s Strange Tales 3

We might be blocked from seeing what lies beneath the surface, but we know it’s formidable and chilling.