Essays Archives - Page 3 of 105 - The Millions

April 10, 2017

Grey Skies, Small Island Towns, and Gangsters: On Tartan Noir 0


Tartan is the pattern on shortbread tins, or the hairy friendly blanket my dog sleeps on. There’s a something of a disconnect between the warmth of Tartan and the broken-glass cold of noir — and that makes the term work.

April 10, 2017

Eight for Eight: A Literary Reader for Passover 1


What follows is a literary sampling inspired by Pesach: eight books for the eight nights of the holiday, choices that amplify Passover themes and honor writing itself.

April 7, 2017

The Germ Has Spread: How America Elected a Reality Show President 9


Trump is a product of a society that has been groomed, through the popularity of reality television, to reward people whose sole motivation is to rock the boat, even at the detriment of those who can’t swim.

April 6, 2017

Of Mondegreens and Eggcorns: Language Keeps Talking About Itself 1


Language flexes and adapts. It knows it will be both mangled and elevated, depending on who wields it — quite often by the same person.

April 5, 2017

The Rise of the Sad Flâneur 6


At his most powerful, the Sad Flâneur lays bare the relationship between capitalism and depression.

March 30, 2017

Did Vladimir Nabokov Write the Great Refugee Novel? 3


During the first hundred pages, you might even assume that this is a comic novel. But as the tragedy of Pnin’s life unfolds, in flashbacks and reminiscences, the reader is shocked into a deeper awareness of the reality of the refugee’s life in exile.

March 29, 2017

Travesty and American Usage 9


The Unethical Appeal may be used to lie, rile, and show contempt for the very reaction it seeks. It longs to drink “Liberal tears.” Recent, though hardly unfamiliar, the Unethical Appeal is the primary rhetorical style of the new administration.

March 27, 2017

Escaping the Waste Land: On Flannery O’Connor and T.S. Eliot 10


Eliot delivers the ruins. O’Connor preserves them, navigates them, and then, inspired by Catholicism, discovers in them an original form of grace.

March 24, 2017

John Morris and His Astonishing Century 0


My inventory led to an unassailable conclusion: not all that much has changed in my lifetime, really, and certainly not in the fundamental ways my grandfather’s day-to-day life changed.

March 23, 2017

My Body Is Mine 0


When I started to dance again I insisted silently to myself it was just about the money, but the moment I stepped back in the club, the moment I slithered into my favorite piece of sheer pink lingerie, brushed black mascara onto my eyelashes, and slipped into my eight-inch platform shoes, I felt relieved. I felt home. I was addicted.