Essays Archives - Page 2 of 88 - The Millions

March 14, 2016

Bookjacked: Why We Can’t Have Arabic Books in America 10


I live in a world where you may need to wait half a year, and be extorted, to get a novel that won the “Arabic Booker.” This is disastrous and shameful, because the flow of books in the other direction is so easy and direct.

March 10, 2016

Gravity’s Rainbow: A Love Story 11


I don’t want to talk about dick jokes, here. I want to talk about Pynchon’s love stories.

March 9, 2016

Poor Davy! Two Thoroughly Modern Women Discuss David Copperfield 4


Rarely do I read a book that leads me to Charles Dickens, especially considering I tend to read either autobiographical fiction or semi-experimental nonfiction written by women. So who is gonna fave my David Copperfield tweets, I guess is my point?!

March 4, 2016

This Is Not an Introduction 2


There is no possibility David Markson would have thought of being fashionable. But without any calculation, David’s writing has come to be considered very of-the-moment.

March 1, 2016

Theaters of the Mind: Radio & Literature 4


Radio is like literature, like our thoughts: moving, shifting, often clouded in static, and yet sometimes out of the maddening noise comes clarity.

February 29, 2016

I Was a Teenage Neil Patrick Harris 4


The motherfucker looked more like me than he had when we were young. I was growing into him, as if we were a pair of trees rooted too close together.

February 24, 2016

Against the Anti-Art Literati: On Roberto Calasso’s ‘The Art of the Publisher’ 6


For the most part, publishing today, whether print or digital, lacks the overarching sensibility that only the good publisher provides.

February 23, 2016

The Open Refrigerator 14


We’ve traveled a long, long way from the storied four-decade publishing association of Alfred Knopf with Thomas Mann, nostalgia for which is a fairly useless emotion in our Godzilla vs. King Kong world of death-match throwdowns against Amazon and Apple and Google and the Justice Department.

February 18, 2016

There’s Not Always a Pill for That: In Defense of Conflict 27


If you talk to literature professors, you may have heard them wonder aloud at the tendency of their students to diagnose characters. Anna Karenina clearly has borderline personality disorder, Holden Caulfield seems to have been abused as a child, Raymond Carver’s characters wouldn’t have these problems if they’d just go to AA.

February 16, 2016

The Anxiety of Influence: Children’s Books and Their Grown-Up Counterparts 1


Like Franzen’s novels, the Berenstain Bear books might meander, reveling in details alternately informative and irrelevant, but ultimately they’re straightforward tales about family.