Articles by Matt Seidel

September 26, 2014

A Thousand Words and Then Some: On Literary Portraiture and Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn 0

Chronicling a fatigued writer’s efforts to reinvent himself as a copyist, a profession which he himself admits doesn’t properly exist, Mr. Gwyn and Three Times at Dawn are the portrait and self-portrait, respectively, of a linguistic portraitist.

September 25, 2014

A Comic Feast: Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Italy 0

Beneath the laughs, of which there are many, The Trip to Italy is an anxious comedy supremely anxious about comedy itself.

August 19, 2014

Back to School: Six Strategies for Effective Close Reading 1

Close reading produces knowledge, and knowledge can be painful.

August 8, 2014

A New Lease on Apathy: On Samuel Beckett’s Echo’s Bones 1

No one is tougher on a Beckett character than Beckett, and perhaps no character receives as much abuse as the first major one, Belacqua Shuah.

July 23, 2014

Viral Professors 0

How would fictional professors, heroes of those quaint works known as campus novels, fare in the world of online education?

July 10, 2014

The Scourge of the Peloton: On Tim Krabbé’s The Rider 0

In honor of the Tour de France, taking to the couch with Tim Krabbé’s sports classic.

June 18, 2014

A Piano Quartet 0

While the following three piano-themed books — Alan Rusbridger’s Play it Again, Thomas Bernhard’s The Loser, and Murray Bail’s extraordinary The Voyage — are all inexplicably devoid of sniper rifles, they do present slightly more nuanced takes on perfection and its discontents.

May 21, 2014

Epitaphs for the Novel 7

“Who would not sing for Lycidas?” asks Milton in his famous elegy. And who, indeed, would not sing for the Novel, which has once again been declared dead?

May 20, 2014

The Press Novel: From Scoop to Amy Rowland’s The Transcriptionist 1

“But do you think it’s a good way of training oneself — inventing imaginary news?” “None better.”

May 9, 2014

The Worst Book Review Ever 21

While professional duty compels me to deliver judgment on the work at hand, I cannot in good conscience reveal the title, author or any identifying details about its plot for fear that some perverse soul might be tempted to go out and buy it.

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