Essays Archives - Page 2 of 98 - The Millions

October 27, 2016

Mistaking Solipsism for Intimacy: On Rereading Jamaica Kincaid’s ‘Girl’ 0


So often, when my mother and I would fight — when I hadn’t lived up to her expectations of how a girl should behave — I would take out At the Bottom of a River and reread the story of my life.

October 26, 2016

Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Turns 75 0


EQMM can be seen as a pioneering force in what is now a fact of life in American fiction — the blending of supposedly “high” and “low” literary forms, the blurring of genre boundaries, the growing sense among writers and readers that the old strictures and snobberies hampered free and fruitful cross-pollination.

October 26, 2016

Our Great Contrarian: On Turkish Humor Writer Aziz Nesin 0


The torching of the hotel was seen as a violent reaction to Nesin’s marginal publishing activities — at least this was what we were instructed to think by the Turkish media. From the flames that covered the facade of the hotel, Nesin had emerged rather miraculously, like some kind of supernatural figure.

October 24, 2016

Running in the Wake 6


What better way to test my fortitude than by hammering my head with the legendarily impenetrable Irish jibberish of Finnegans Wake? If I can run 20 yammering nonsensical miles, then an extra six with folks cheering most of the way instead: easy, right? Maybe easier.

October 21, 2016

Henry James for Every Day of the Year 0


This book more or less vanished. A few older works of criticism list it in their bibliographies, and a small press in Pennsylvania reissued it in 1970. But no scholar has ever paid it much attention, and for decades it survived in the only way that forgotten books do survive: undisturbed in the stacks.

October 19, 2016

The Library Is Dead. Long Live the Library! 6


Properly maintained public libraries empower minority communities by providing access to modern technologies and the training to use these technologies.

October 17, 2016

Dylan and Defiance 37


He didn’t sound like someone who would be on the radio, and yet, there he was, standing in front of the nation, connecting with people on the basis of what he had to say, not how it sounded. 

October 14, 2016

Citizen Ack: On Whimsy, Trump, and ‘Bloom County’ 2


In its last few weeks in existence, ‘Bloom County’ had Donald Trump end the world.

October 10, 2016

A Defense of Radical Selfishness 1


Fear of Flying still has radical lessons to offer.   

October 7, 2016

Shape Beneath Color: The Impressionistic Wonders of ‘To the Lighthouse’ 2


In Woolf’s hands, impressionism permits the interior life to float through the narrative like black ink in a basin of water, creating slowly shifting forms rather than hard lines, which seems about right if the goal is to explore the amorphous nature of the inner self.