Essays Archives - Page 20 of 108 - The Millions

June 15, 2016

Let’s Not Get It On: The Indefensible Sex Scene 16

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How can you take me there if the word “loins” is used even once? How can you take me there if you won’t admit that there are smells? And pubic hairs that must occasionally be plucked from the tip of your tongue or hocked up discreetly in the shower sometime later.

June 14, 2016

I Will Never Sing Adviser Karaoke at Yearbook Camp 1

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In some ways, yearbook camp felt like an extended Tony Robbins seminar. Each morning we met in the auditorium, where one of the staff led us in a group chant to get us fired-up for the day. I am from New Jersey, and only get fired-up for pizza and pork roll sandwiches.

June 13, 2016

Maylis de Kerangal: France’s Unlikely Literary Rebel 1

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Maylis de Kerangal is threatening a segment of the French literary establishment — and questioning what it means to be a fiction writer in France.

June 9, 2016

Ernest Hemingway: Middlebrow Revolutionary 31

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Like many men who pride themselves on their toughness and self-reliance, Hemingway was almost comically insecure and prone to betray anyone who had the effrontery to do him a favor.

June 8, 2016

The Psychiatrist’s Assistant: A Brief Anecdotal Study in Hierarchies 1

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As it happened, the doctor had her own creative pursuits on the side: a short story collection that she was paying to have printed by what was known, in literary circles and beyond, as a vanity press.

June 8, 2016

Books I Wish I Wrote: On Writerly Jealousy 7

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I’m jealous of every writer who’s written a feature for The Atlantic and of every Paris memoir that’s ever been published, especially the ones that involve a lot of food. I am full of unthinkable jealousies.

June 6, 2016

Where Legless Men Run and Water Burns: On Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland 0

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Unlike J.M. Barrie or A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll grants no asylum to wistful acknowledgements that childhood must come to an end. The lost laughter of childhood needn’t be lost forever.

June 1, 2016

Angels of the North: On ‘Happy Valley’ and Anne Brontë 3

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The Victorian Angel in the House hasn’t died; she has mutated from the quiet, calm keeper of domestic bliss into someone huge and ferocious, working at all costs to keep others safe.

May 31, 2016

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Amateur Auction Theorist 2

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Hermann and Dorothea went on to be a bestseller, earning tens of thousands of talers, but nary a penny more for poor Goethe.

May 26, 2016

Team Ladislaw: What Henry James (and Everyone Else) Gets Wrong About Middlemarch 2

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If we take Ladislaw and Dorothea’s storyline on good faith, we must confront a terrifying truth — that it is often the heart that defies our best plotting.