Essays Archives - Page 3 of 90 - The Millions

May 31, 2016

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Amateur Auction Theorist 2


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


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.

May 25, 2016

Instead of a Review: On Reading Diana Athill 0


I fell in love with Diana Athill in the bath, which is unusual for me because I’m more of a shower person.

May 20, 2016

Nothing Works Until It Works: On Writerly Discomfort 0


Discomfort, discord, imbalance, conflict — however you want to describe it, this liminality is the spark that lights the creative fire.

May 18, 2016

No Genre Ever Dies: On Loren D. Estleman and the Pulp Tradition 2


I think Estleman would proud of being described as a throwback to an earlier era, when writers wrote prolifically and never failed to entertain. It’s not haute cuisine — it’s red meat, the stuff you can’t put down until your plate is clean.

May 16, 2016

Justifying Our Existence: The Antioch Review and the Transgender ‘Debate’ 36


If you really believe that transgender people fail at their genders and you make it a business to say so publicly, you should know that your words resonate far off the page. If your supposed concern for transgender people masks plain old misogyny, then you are complicit in violence.

May 12, 2016

The Case for Non-IKEA Writing in the Age of Jonathan Franzen 10


Why did the best novel yet from the most ambitious novelist in the United Kingdom almost fail to get published in North America?

May 11, 2016

Take It or Leave It: Guidebooks for Single Girls 1


Before marrying a man, ask yourself if you could love him if he lost his front hair, went without a collar, smoked an old pipe, and wore a ready-made suit; all of these things are likely to happen.

May 2, 2016

All of This Is Mine: A Conversation with Victor LaValle 0


This supernatural horror as allegory for virulent racism is what has increasingly tarnished H.P. Lovecraft’s legacy, and what makes Victor LaValle’s rebuke so sharp.

April 29, 2016

Portrait of a Trump Supporter 4


I’ve found a vivid explication of Trumpism’s roots in what might seem an unusual place: William Faulkner’s modernist tour de force The Sound and the Fury.