Essays Archives - Page 79 of 94 - The Millions

January 7, 2010

In Defense of Editors 23

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Gordon Lish usurped Raymond Carver’s work, and with it, some of his identity. It was traumatic at times for both parties, but in terms of art and aesthetic, wasn’t it worth it?

January 4, 2010

The Perils of Fiction 10

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While writing Drift, I did my best to shut out the ongoing clamor of imagined disapproval and alienation from my family, promising myself to write uncensored. As I got closer to the reality of publication, I realized that the shit was going to hit the fan.

December 30, 2009

Year-End Reflections: The Great and The Good 1

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It’s a thread I sense in most writers I know — that if a good amount of our first-fruit time and energy are going to be spent either in solitude or promoting our own work, we want also to make sure we are not atrophying in our human connectedness.

December 16, 2009

Writing in Trains 10

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My subway writing habit began a few months ago, in the feverish time around the publication of my first novel.

November 25, 2009

Gender Confusion: On Literary Sausage Parties 12

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The writers highlighted by Publishers Weekly certainly deserve our attention, but the kind of attention they got, I fear, is a reminder that they use the men’s room.

November 23, 2009

Dogs, Revolutionary Road, and The Thunderous Sea of Silence 6

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On the violence of Richard Yates’s dialog, the failures of human speech in everyday life, and the silent togetherness of man and dog.

November 20, 2009

Goodbye to Oprah’s Golden Ticket 36

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In a literary world where writers are playing the lottery against the longest of odds, Oprah was the winning ticket. But in less than two years, the ultimate book publicity coup will be off the table.

November 19, 2009

Portraits of the Artist: The Work of Carl Köhler 4

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Köhler’s subjects ranged from Michael Jackson to Charles Bukowski and his experimentation with many startlingly different techniques and media in his portraiture, as well as his often exquisite pairings of style and subject, give his work an arresting and distinctive expressiveness.

November 17, 2009

Fair Hypocrites: Twilight By Way of Pamela 16

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These two publishing phenomena, one situated at each end of the history of the novel, are–by a certain cynical reading–the same book, the same archetypal female fantasy. And they are not love stories: they are stories about class.

November 16, 2009

The Bolaño Myth and the Backlash Cycle 10

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If a Bolaño backlash materializes, it will mark a revolt not against his books, but against a particular narrative being spun about them. With a tendentious but seductive account of the experience The Savage Detectives offers U.S. readers, “Bolaño Inc.” provides the perfect cover story for those who can’t be bothered to do the reading.