Essays Archives - Page 5 of 108 - The Millions

May 3, 2017

At the Firing Squad: The Radical Works of a Young Dostoevsky 10

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In the eyes of most literary circles, Dostoevsky was just a one-hit wonder.

April 18, 2017

The Afterlife of F. Scott Fitzgerald 2

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Fitzgerald found a way for his death to give Tycoon, a necessarily fragmented tale of loss, a more moving outcome than anything he might dream up.

April 17, 2017

What Edith Wharton Taught Me about Marriage 2

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The Age of Innocence, from three different epochs of married life.

April 14, 2017

Gertrude Stein: Unlikely Comp Teacher 2

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Gertrude Stein’s writing isn’t, on the face of it, a style we’d traditionally encourage in college. But why? Doesn’t it uphold the tenacious inquiry we ask of collegial adults? Doesn’t it allow for play and interest? Doesn’t it make claims?

April 13, 2017

Woman with Power Is Woman Unchecked: Reading Narratives of Indian Women 4

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Woman is either heretically subversive or divinely transcendent; there is no middle ground.

April 11, 2017

No Need for Sainthood: On Grace Paley’s Enduring Humanity 1

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Paley paved a path for others to follow, even if no one could match her unique blend of urban wit, street smarts, and tensile sentences.

April 11, 2017

Zone of Strangeness: On John Cheever’s Subjective Suburbs 2

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It is the tension between two countervailing urges — the urge for freedom and the urge for safety — that lends Cheever’s work much of its enduring power.

April 10, 2017

Grey Skies, Small Island Towns, and Gangsters: On Tartan Noir 1

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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

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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

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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.