Essays Archives - Page 73 of 104 - The Millions

June 7, 2011

Solving for X: Malcolm X and White Readers 4

by

If the “angriest black man in America” no longer hates you, Malcolm X’s story seems to tell white people, then maybe you’re not all bad.

June 6, 2011

Pat’s Journals 7

by

Soon after I started dating my future husband, I discovered that his father had written unpublished journals, named for his sons and his first grandson. In them, I learned the truth is complicated and nebulous and open to interpretation.

June 3, 2011

Geoff Dyer, Gate-Crasher and Dragonfly 4

by

It was as though I’d been drawn to the Phillips de Pury auction house to visually complete the circuit of learning begun by Dyer’s revelatory writings.  Which is not to say I wound up agreeing with everything Dyer had to say. Far from it.

May 17, 2011

The Importance of Unwritten Postcards 11

by

If I’d been able to share my memories quickly, if I’d been able to tweet them or make them my status or even speak them to someone I knew, I might not have hung onto them.

May 16, 2011

The Stockholm Syndrome Theory of Long Novels 111

by

…and some other observations of doubtful critical merit.

May 12, 2011

The Indigenous American Berserk 19

by

Whenever there are bright lights, clusters of cameras and microphones, spin doctors and handlers, packs of hungry rivals with notebooks, the writer’s chances of getting something genuine, or even merely unique, shrink monstrously.  I experienced this so many times that it is one of the few things I absolutely know to be true.

May 11, 2011

‘Was Guilt Innocent?’ The Books of Harry Mulisch 7

by

The Assault, probably Harry Mulisch’s most well known work, is to my mind the best account ever written of being a non-Jew in an occupied Nazi territory.

April 29, 2011

Pitons in the Monolith: Jonathan Franzen’s Despair and the Millennials’ Dream 19

by

The crisis Franzen described 15 years ago this month would seem doubly urgent for today’s young writers, yet twentysomethings are entering the literary arena in droves. The question’s not “Why Bother?” but “What gives?”

April 28, 2011

Our Growing Higher Ed Crisis: Making Myths In the Basement of the Ivory Tower 22

by

Professor X knows first-hand that if you refuse to keep score, if you don’t set standards, if you promote students simply for trying, you will produce mediocrity, or worse. But don’t just take his word for it.

April 27, 2011

Confluence of Pleasures: On Reading and Tuna Fish 15

by

Proust’s madeleine would have made more sense to me had Proust, upon discovering the power of the cookie, obtained a huge box and eaten them while reading all seven Chronicles of Narnia.