Essays Archives - Page 3 of 108 - The Millions

June 14, 2017

Revisiting the Wild Mind of Kenneth Patchen 0


It’s Patchen’s ambition to make us all look like animals, and disarming the semblance of any known structure of narrative is an essential part of this dizzying quest.

June 9, 2017

Armchair Traveling Across the Russias 1


During my graduate studies at Oxford, I became friends with a group of people of Waughian tendencies, Russophiles to whom admitting that you spoke no Russian and had not ridden the Trans-Siberian Railway made you a pariah.

June 8, 2017

Books Are Garbage 12


Today’s trash is the complete Emily Dickinson in hardcover, with dust jacket. Today’s detritus is an unread Penguin Classics Don Quixote. Today’s undesirable is Of Human Bondage in a Modern Library edition.

June 6, 2017

When I Worked in Advertising 6


Once, a very well-known writer said something unkind to me about my book—right to my face!—and I rather wanted to explain that I had plenty of experience with people telling me that my ideas were bad and it didn’t matter because that was the job, having bad ideas, and that maybe that was the job of the novelist, too.

June 5, 2017

Ray Bradbury’s Keys to the Universe 7


I used my earnings from the bookstore to purchase a plane ticket. A few months later I boarded a plane, hailed a taxi, scheduled a shuttle, and at last reached Ray Bradbury’s front door.

May 31, 2017

Why Literary Journals Don’t Pay 24


If a literary magazine is paying you for your work, they are likely doing so out of grant money, not pockets deeply lined by the publishing of literary fiction and poetry.

May 30, 2017

Sports and Narrative: Looking for the Great Basketball Novel 13


There is, inherent to basketball’s play, an indeterminacy that may not lend itself to conventional narrative.

May 26, 2017

Leonora Carrington’s Unruly Prose 1


Centenaries ask us to put aside our doubts and pay tribute; that said, the fact that these texts have lain dormant for years is not wholly without reason.

May 25, 2017

A Gift to the Future: In Defense of Keeping a Journal 4


Keeping a journal — not a blog for an audience, but an actual journal — feels like a form of aesthetic and personal resistance. It feels a little bit subversive.

May 24, 2017

Mary Gaitskill and the Dignity of the Nowhere Girl 0


Mary Gaitskill comes alive when turning toward what others shun.