Essays Archives - Page 50 of 94 - The Millions
August 10, 2012
Reacting to the opening ceremony, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, a fearless and outspoken critic of his own government’s totalitarian ways, put his finger on the zeitgeist when he said that only a free country could have pulled off this kind of an idiosyncratic entertainment that reflected the character of a free people rather than the marketing vision of a police state.
August 8, 2012
Despite all the trouble technology might cause, when it’s absent from contemporary novels, a big white elephant appears on the page and starts ambling around. (Perhaps searching for an unprotected Wi-Fi network?)
August 6, 2012
I will now posit a corollary to Godwin’s Law: as a sportswriter’s career progresses, the probability that he will needlessly invoke Nazis approaches 1.
August 3, 2012
When I saw Love, Here is My Hat, I needed to buy it again because Saroyan appeals to my heart and not my literary head. I bought it because Saroyan signals the pull of something or someplace absent; because the stories collected there are about people trying to make do, to make simple lives of love and happiness; and most of all because the book and that title I’ve never quite understood represent an offer. “Here is my hat.” Perhaps it’s a gesture of surrender, or of begging.
August 1, 2012
Writers I publish with give a look of pain when I tell them I teach high school, wondering how I have any remaining interest or energy to write. I argue that I not only have sufficient time — the summers certainly help — but the emotional freedom that sometimes is only provided through job security.
July 31, 2012
by Shane Jones
The best, most comforting advice I’ve ever heard on the “Why I write” question is from a woman named Lynea Lattanzio, who runs the largest cat refuge in California. She said, “I’m not crazy, what I do is crazy.”
July 30, 2012
by Janet Potter
I suppose it’s a gift of modern life that I was able to cook, host, and eat the night’s feast. It’s more likely that when book six comes out I’ll spend a good deal of time yelling at the characters to thank their chefs.
July 27, 2012
Shandy makes the Cervantes/Fielding/Dickens picaresque look like a straight walk down a well-lit road. It is both a challenge to read and a sustained work of jumpy, distracted hilarity. Attention deficit, for Sterne, is not something to be feared in the reader — it is the basis for his process of composition.
July 25, 2012
Would you want to read a war novel called Love Is One Fervent Fire? Or Death Once Dead? Or, God forbid, One Event Happeneth to Them All? Evidently, Hemingway considered all these and many more even worse ones before making a note to himself, “Shitty titles,” and going with A Farewell to Arms.
July 19, 2012
by Bill Morris
For all its many virtues, the fifth edition is not perfect. Its one glaring flaw is an introductory essay written by the chairman of the Usage Panel, Steven Pinker, a Harvard University linguist and cognitive scientist who is also an avowed descriptivist. What’s that whirring noise I hear? Is it William Morris, who died in 1994, spinning in his grave?