Essays Archives - Page 5 of 101 - The Millions

November 14, 2016

Trauma Is the Thing We Inherit 0


When I started this essay, my father was on his deathbed and now as I finish it, he is no longer alive. When I think of his past, I find myself asking: How much did his past shape him? How much of a choice did he have in becoming the man he became?

November 7, 2016

Scissoring, Othering, and ‘The Handmaiden’ 19


What is it with straight people, especially straight men, and scissoring? Among the many sexual acts that queer women perform with each other, this one seems, at least in our experience, to be the one that fascinates them the most.

November 4, 2016

The Things My Books Carried 0


In The Stranger by Albert Camus: A greeting card and a blank envelope. The card has a cartoon king on the cover and inside it says, “You rule!” There is nothing else written anywhere.

November 2, 2016

Books Should Send Us Into Therapy: On The Paradox of Bibliotherapy 8


Bibliotherapy’s goal should not necessarily be to make us feel better. It should be to make us feel more, to feel deeper, to feel more honestly.

October 27, 2016

Mistaking Solipsism for Intimacy: On Rereading Jamaica Kincaid’s ‘Girl’ 0


So often, when my mother and I would fight — when I hadn’t lived up to her expectations of how a girl should behave — I would take out At the Bottom of a River and reread the story of my life.

October 26, 2016

Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Turns 75 0


EQMM can be seen as a pioneering force in what is now a fact of life in American fiction — the blending of supposedly “high” and “low” literary forms, the blurring of genre boundaries, the growing sense among writers and readers that the old strictures and snobberies hampered free and fruitful cross-pollination.

October 26, 2016

Our Great Contrarian: On Turkish Humor Writer Aziz Nesin 0


The torching of the hotel was seen as a violent reaction to Nesin’s marginal publishing activities — at least this was what we were instructed to think by the Turkish media. From the flames that covered the facade of the hotel, Nesin had emerged rather miraculously, like some kind of supernatural figure.

October 24, 2016

Running in the Wake 6


What better way to test my fortitude than by hammering my head with the legendarily impenetrable Irish jibberish of Finnegans Wake? If I can run 20 yammering nonsensical miles, then an extra six with folks cheering most of the way instead: easy, right? Maybe easier.

October 21, 2016

Henry James for Every Day of the Year 0


This book more or less vanished. A few older works of criticism list it in their bibliographies, and a small press in Pennsylvania reissued it in 1970. But no scholar has ever paid it much attention, and for decades it survived in the only way that forgotten books do survive: undisturbed in the stacks.

October 19, 2016

The Library Is Dead. Long Live the Library! 6


Properly maintained public libraries empower minority communities by providing access to modern technologies and the training to use these technologies.