Essays

August 20, 2014

Practical Art: On Teaching the Business of Creative Writing 11

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This is the inside joke of creative writing programs in America. We know creative writing doesn’t make money, and yet we continue to graduate talented writers with no business acumen. At best, it is misguided. At worst, it is fraudulent.

August 18, 2014

Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Eco-terrorists So Different, So Appealing? 1

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Are these activists terrorists, as the government would have us believe, or are they avenging angels performing a vital service, as they themselves believe?

August 14, 2014

Hemingway for Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton’s Flash Fiction Ads 4

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In Culture Trust 2.0, we’re all Don Draper, and we’re all susceptible to his slick salesmanship.

August 8, 2014

Beckett’s Bilingual Oeuvre: Style, Sin, and the Psychology of Literary Influence 3

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If Beckett’s reworking of English contrives to escape Joyce, it is an escape that simultaneously mimics him, for Joyce had already endeavored a great escape of sorts.

August 8, 2014

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

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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.

August 7, 2014

Nothing Is at Stake: On Shakespeare, Lana Del Rey, and the Relatable 10

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Maybe Shakespeare sucks because — and to the extent that — life sucks.

August 6, 2014

Everyone Is Looking: On American Expat Literature 1

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It’s impossible, of course, to sum up the vast breadth of expat literature, but we can still make out, in these stories, how we and a great deal of Europe have interpreted our character as a nation.

August 5, 2014

The Art of Close Writing 8

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Close writing really is an amazing thing. Consider that this essay right now has been narrated in the third person, and yet there is no question as to what Clark’s opinions are.

August 4, 2014

Extinction Stories: The Ecological True-Crime Genre 1

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We are living in the midst of the worst die-off since the dinosaurs fell victim to an asteroid 65 million years ago. Whatever the proximal causes, human beings are the asteroids this time.

July 31, 2014

The Academy of Rambling-On: On Bohumil Hrabal’s Fiction 0

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Read the stories. Read the novels. Just read Hrabal.