Essays Archives - Page 31 of 96 - The Millions

May 2, 2014

A Beautiful Man: On Peter Parker and the Amazing Spider-Man 4


The problem with Spider-Man is the same problem with all popular comics heroes. Eventually, after several hundred issues, he hit a moment of stasis in which he stopped evolving, stopped discovering the strange hidden facets of his personality.

May 1, 2014

Collared or Untied: Reflections on Work in American Culture 0


Start-ups offer unlimited vacation, but with the implicit understanding that you’ll bring your laptop with you. And there might be foosball in the office, but there’s also a fold-out couch so you don’t have to go home to sleep. Your CEO and you both wear the same company-branded t-shirt, but only one of you is going home to the multi-million-dollar house.

April 29, 2014

Forget About James Franco 19


I’ve been around enough creative types to know that the only thing more toxic and debilitating than their schadenfreude is their seething resentment over the success of a rival. Especially when it’s seen as unearned.

April 28, 2014

What García Márquez Meant to the Macondians 4


Colombia of the ’80s and ’90s contained within itself Hell and Paradise all at once, each in its full force, neither diluting the other. This point is essential to understand why so many of us have taken to calling our beloved Nobel Laureate, the late Gabriel García Márquez, the most important Colombian who ever lived.

April 25, 2014

Kafka on the Go: Rereading The Metamorphosis 0


I had been casting about for the perfect title when I saw Susan Bernofsky’s new translation of The Metamorphosis at an airport bookstore, the beautiful cover submitting the title letters to the same transformative process as the book’s protagonist undergoes. This, I decided, would be my companion text as I semi-reclined on a plane, lay in bed, sat in a café, strolled upright in a park, and bellied up to a bar.

April 23, 2014

450 Years of Juliets: On Women Making Shakespeare 2


The history of women interacting with Shakespeare’s plays is also the history of women’s rights, suffrage, and of the feminist movement. Shakespeare has been, and is, an uneasy ally.

April 22, 2014

Sacrament of Fiction: On Becoming a Writer and Not a Priest 9


Good fiction can be a form of good works. As a Catholic, I recognize that life is a story of continuous revision, of failure and unexpected grace, and of dogged hope. I am comfortable with the white space of ambiguity and mystery. I have faith, not certainty.

April 15, 2014

Crimean Rites 0


It’s February 4, 1937. The poet Osip Mandelstam is in Voronezh, a provincial city deep in the Russian steppe. He has one year left to live.

April 11, 2014

You’ve Got Mail: On the New Age of Biography 4


After centuries of shuffling papers, biographers must now deal with the sudden digitization of the self, and the behavioral changes that have followed.

April 10, 2014

Viral Video: The Most Famous 15-Year-Old Basketball Player in America 3


But Woods’s weight as prep basketball’s premier Internet phenomenon — and how dominant he looks in his highlights — might give a false impression of his chances at future success. It’s entirely possible Woods is at the height of his fame right now. I went to the Hammond School to see what that kind of uniquely modern sports celebrity felt like in person.