Essays Archives - Page 82 of 96 - The Millions

November 17, 2009

Fair Hypocrites: Twilight By Way of Pamela 16


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


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.

November 9, 2009

A Guest in the Shadow Country 6


Grouping writers according to their countries of origin or of citizenship seems strangely arcane. These just don’t seem like useful divisions, especially in the case of fiction.

November 3, 2009

In Play – Runs: Baseball and the Internet 11


Much of the discourse about sports is couched in a conservative ethos, regardless of the political inclinations of those in the dialog. But the internet has changed what it means to be a fan.

October 30, 2009

Discovering the Luz in The Paris Review Interviews 4


Hearing the echo of writers talking of their difficulties and triumphs with writing can provide the consolation and inspiration it takes to toil on, such as knowing that Orhan Pamuk “work[s] like a clerk” or that even Paul Auster feels stupid sometimes.

October 23, 2009

Framing the Issue: Copyright from John Adams to mp3s 3


The author of The Gift turns to Founding Fathers, copyright, and the creative commons. So why hasn’t anyone noticed?

October 16, 2009

The Mommy Problem 27


Of all the people I’ve known who tried to become writers, many have not become writers…most people don’t fail to become writers because they can’t become writers; rather, at some point, it becomes clear all the things you cannot be (or have or do) if you become a writer.

October 16, 2009

The Savages: Where The Wild Things Are, Revisited 4


Sendak’s classic offers an allegorical version of Hobbes (and Machiavelli and Hegel) for children; its dark lessons about human nature and civilization give the work its enduring, archetypal power.

October 15, 2009

Nostalgia for a Life Never Lived and The Work of Rumer Godden 0


When Godden isn’t escaping into the scents and colors of India, she escapes into a world of nuns.

October 13, 2009

Dissecting the List: An Excursus 1


It’s probably its hospitality to debate that makes the “Best Of” list so popular in the first place. One can agree – yes! great list! – or dissent – Where is x? Why no y? – or inveigh against list-making itself, but in any case, the list holds up a mirror to one’s own preoccupations. As with any mirror, it is fearsomely hard to look away.