Essays Archives - Page 73 of 110 - The Millions

November 30, 2011

The Saddest Story I Have Ever Heard: An Agnostic Appreciation of The Book of Genesis 6


When I think of poor Adam and Eve and their hapless abdication of paradise in return for some new knowledge, I can’t help thinking of my own incremental sense of impending banishment with each new rumor overheard, as a child, from across the border of Adulthood.

November 28, 2011

The Little Room of Danger and Depth 12


In this day and age it seems almost prehistoric to want to establish a library. It’s as though I’m admitting that I’ve become a fan of riding a donkey down to the shops, or that I’ve discovered how and why things fall to the ground.

November 28, 2011

Where Have All the Catholic Writers Gone? 64


Despite such a rich literary heritage, novels — both by Catholics and non-Catholics — grappling with what used to be called “the drama of salvation” are no longer just rare, but almost unthinkable nowadays.

November 23, 2011

The Genre Games 46


I developed my own little highly-nonscientific experiment: I went to the local library and checked out three books in each of seven genres and devoted an entire weekend to looking for tropes or devices that separated one genre from another. I had some really weird dreams that weekend.

November 22, 2011

Beyond Holokitsch: Spiegelman Goes Meta 1


Art Spiegelman’s Maus is that rare work of literature that speaks to everyone while pandering to no one. MetaMaus is a record of how Spiegelman pulled off this magic trick.

November 14, 2011

Reading 1Q84: The Case for Fiction in a Busy Life 27


I stopped questioning the purpose of fiction and instead began to see reading 1Q84 as one of the few necessary things I did all day. The reasons for the change of heart had to do with wonder, with love, and with the way literature provides for the best parts of who we are.

November 11, 2011

The Pleasures and Perils of Rereading 31


Whether we go back again and again to a classic or pick up an old favorite to see how it has fared or dig deep into the treasures of our youth, rereading is an experiment that is bound to change us, and to change our impressions of the books we read.

November 10, 2011

Three Readings, A Bag of Ritz Sandwich Crackers, and Some Serious QT with my Number One Fan 1


Now, I don’t normally do this sort of thing. But my publisher wasn’t planning much for the paperback tour, so I figured why not? Isn’t that what publishing is all about these days — doing-it-yourself, sleeping on couches, Facebooking and tweeting your little heart out?

November 9, 2011

De-Romanticizing Rome 6


Judging by the bookshelves, Rome has been condensed into a mere repetition of themes: what tasty food, passionate people, beautiful art, ancient ruins, and history! Is that all there is to Rome?

October 25, 2011

Celebrating St. Crispin’s Day 8


We need more literary holidays. For what it’s worth, I want to claim today (October 25) for readers. Who’s with me?