Essays Archives - Page 10 of 108 - The Millions

January 24, 2017

The Physical Book Will Surely Endure: But Will It Endure for the Right Reason? 8


As an empirical matter, reading on a tablet cannot remotely approach the sensual literary experience offered by an old-fashioned book. The latter is, I’d venture, intrinsically more pleasurable than the former, not unlike the intrinsic difference between high quality toilet paper and the sandpaper stuff used in bus stations.

January 23, 2017

‘A Walk in the Woods’ vs. A Walk in the Woods: On Reading as a Substitute for Experience 4


Reading is an incredible thing, but it’s a poor substitute for life.

January 20, 2017

The Age of Fiction: How Donald Trump Rewrote My Life 64


Trump’s campaign brought the prevalence of sexual assault into the open, and then brushed it away. It felt like a nation turning its eyes on victims and asking what my male friend asked me: Are you sure? You’re not sure. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. There are other issues. Turn the page, tear it out, write it better.

January 18, 2017

What We Talk About When We Talk About Boycotts 35


People are mad as hell about the rise of the so-called “alt-right.” But how do we try to harness this anger productively? Successfully boycotting S&S is not going achieve what many of us really want — which is to boycott 2016.

January 17, 2017

Gilmore Girls: The End of Good Faith 3


The Gilmore Girls revival is very much a show for our time. We’ve all sensed it, of course, these past few years: the feeling of disaster in the air, of violence and anger and a rampant, all-devouring bad faith.

January 12, 2017

Podcasts and Literary Criticism 0


Literary podcasts are like being part of a book club without the social pressure or the bad wine.

January 10, 2017

Tom Robbins Was My Spiritual Advisor 3


Tom Robbins doesn’t know me.

January 9, 2017

How I Got It: ‘Breakfast of Champions’ 6


That I could have found a book that so enflamed me in such a serene, well-meaning place now seems to me a rude and minor marvel.

January 9, 2017

Better Late Than Never: On Blooming as a Reader 4


We did not have many books in the house, and I was not read to as a child.

January 6, 2017

James Joyce and the Yuletide Epiphany 2


What Joyce presents us with in “The Dead” is a true, unidealized epiphany. In the real world epiphanies are hard — we do not have literal ghosts and angels to gently guide us towards them. And that is why Joyce’s story is the perfect coda for the holiday season.