Articles by Thomas Beckwith

February 9, 2015

“A big furry fish in a tiny barrel” 0

As a young girl in the 1980s, Melissa Carroll played with My Little Pony dolls, in part because, as she puts it, “I knew I’d better have one.” Nearly thirty years on, she’s fascinated by the new surge of interest in the dolls, especially the interest displayed by the men who call themselves Bronies. At […]

February 9, 2015

There Once Was a Girl from Secaucus 0

“Who cares if I really hate sports And for work, he writes ‘baseball reports’? It’s only one date I mean, this could be fate! Nope, nevermind, he’s the worst.” Limericks for lost online dates.

February 9, 2015

The Craven 0

Ralph Waldo Emerson called him “the jingle-man.” Henry James called his work “decidedly primitive.” Yet Edgar Allan Poe, nearly two centuries after his death, is now acclaimed as a writer on par with his best contemporaries. How did his reputation evolve? In the Times Literary Supplement, Marjorie Perloff reviews a new study of Poe by Jerome […]

February 9, 2015

fragment:story 0

If you know what the phrase “hypertext story” means, you’re likely at least passingly familiar with new media literature, which first appeared all the way back in the days of floppy disks. At Ploughshares, a brief introduction to the genre, with a nod to hypertext ur-teacher and novelist Robert Coover. You could also read Guy […]

February 4, 2015

Civil Servants 1

Implicit in a lot of the discussions about how negative a book reviewer can be is a question of utility: is a book review an act of public service or a work of art in itself? In the Times, James Parker and Anna Holmes debate the purpose of the review. Sample quote: “I’d argue that […]

February 4, 2015

“You become an enormous bright white projector screen” 0

Recommended Reading: This interview at The Rumpus with Chloe Caldwell.

February 4, 2015

From A to Zuckerman 0

Looking to get into Philip Roth? Not sure where to start in the perennial Nobel favorite’s massive ouevre? Thankfully, the novelist Gabriel Roth is here, swooping in with the only guide you’ll ever need. He explains why Portnoy’s Complaint made the splash it did, why Goodbye, Columbus put Roth on the map, and why the character […]

February 4, 2015

Beyond the Mirror 0

Over at Bookslut, Brian Nicholson follows up our recent piece on Silvina Ocampo’s Thus Were Their Faces with his own review of the book, writing that “She does not need to invent books of infinite pages, for the world of what we know already contains things as strange as mirrors.” The review draws a comparison […]

February 3, 2015

The Bad Luck Club 0

By the age of twenty-one, Eugene O’Neill had dropped out of Princeton, fathered a child and caught syphilis on a trip through South America. He was, in his own words, “the Irish luck kid,” blessed in a strange way with misfortune. Yet he went on to win a Pulitzer eleven years later. How did he […]

February 3, 2015

“Deceptively spare” 0

“The art style also changes from chapter to chapter — some panels fill the pages to the edges and are overwhelming in their dark palette; some seem ordinary in proportion, confident; others fill the space around small figures with words, words, words; and others still have a minimalist, sketch-like quality and barely occupy the page […]