Essays Archives - Page 75 of 102 - The Millions

January 26, 2011

Jay-Z is Not a Proudhon of Hip-Hop 10

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All art comes from art.  To admit this is not to concede that there’s no such thing as originality any more than it’s a license to borrow without attribution and then call it your own. 

January 21, 2011

The Posthumous Jim Carroll: What Do We Owe a Dead Writer? 1

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Jim Carroll may have been gone, but in the comforting, ghostly way that artists do, he would endure.

January 20, 2011

Darts and Philosophy, Bowling and Metaphysics: A Primer on the Novels of Jean-Philippe Toussaint 3

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Toussaint deals with both the little irritations and the Big Questions, usually in as close a proximity as possible, and he respects no boundary between fiction and nonfiction.

January 19, 2011

The Long and the Short of It: Linked Story Collections Bridging the Divide 13

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To me, the short story is this miraculously compressed form, elegant and complex, small in shape but large and deep in meaning; it has the capacity for perfection in a way that the novel does not.

January 19, 2011

The Great Late Henry James 9

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If there was ever a rule that an American writer should do his boldest, most experimental work first and then retreat to safe ground, no one ever bothered to tell Henry James.

January 18, 2011

The Story Problem: 10 Thoughts on Academia’s Novel Crisis 78

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The rhythm of school is conducive to the writing of small things, not big things, and we don’t try hard enough to think beyond that rhythm because, for many of us, it’s the only rhythm we know.

January 13, 2011

The Writer at The Memory Table 4

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The workings of the mind and the creative process are ripe subjects for memoir, perhaps more so when the author has suffered from a traumatic brain injury.

January 12, 2011

Writing from the Garret: The Joys and Dangers of Readership 7

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I’ve been wondering a lot about how sharing one’s writing with a larger audience alters one’s process–how having multiple readers, a potential world of them, can strengthen that process, and challenge it, and how it can also, if you aren’t careful, wound and compromise it.

January 11, 2011

Exiles of Historical Fiction 4

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The saying goes, “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it,” but in reference to historical fiction, a better saying would be, “Those who don’t add something new to the past are simply repeating it.”

January 7, 2011

Robert Musil and The Man Without Qualities: Imperial Vienna as a Portrait of Now 5

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Robert Musil wrote The Man Without Qualities in the 1930s, but his modernist elegy to Belle Époque Vienna offers an achingly familiar picture of dissolution and malaise.