Recent Articles

August 7, 2009

Book Lovers 7

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It starts out innocently. I recommend Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son. “I think you’d like Johnson,” I say, after reading one of his short story drafts. “The violence and the tenderness together. ‘Emergency’ will knock you out.”

August 7, 2009

Socialism Vs. the Beautiful Game 0

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Millions readers who follow European soccer, the progress of democratic socialism, or international tax policies may be interested in Jonathan Last’s article in the Weekly Standard this week about how Gordon Brown’s recent tax hike – from 40% to 50% on the top tax bracket – is decimating the English Premier League. (And yes, I […]

August 6, 2009

Mope Free: Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli 4

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At the risk of being exposed as a graphic novel novice, my problem with the genre has always been that graphic novels never quite seem to take full, exuberant advantage of the potential afforded by the form. Too often, no matter how visually accomplished and how intricately plotted, the characters (paradoxically perhaps) are too one-dimensional. […]

August 5, 2009

Fillet of Mockingbird in a Gladwell Reduction Sauce 11

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In his most recent article for The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell asserts that “one way to make sense” of To Kill a Mockingbird “is to start with Big Jim Folsom.” It’s a thesis that rings all the Gladwell bells. There’s the near-nonsequiter. There’s the insistence that to understand something you thought you already understood, you […]

August 4, 2009

Nabokov, Wallace, and the Incredible Shrinking Book 3

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I was vaguely shocked and cautiously appalled to learn last week that Vladimir Nabokov’s “new” novel, The Original of Laura, due for release in August, isn’t, in fact, much of a novel at all. “This very unfinished work reads largely like an outline, full of seeming notes-to-self, references to source material, self-critique, sentence fragments and […]

August 3, 2009

Dispatches from Vilnius 0

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Three flights and twenty hours after departing New York, I arrived in Vilnius, Lithuania, the land of potato pancakes, sour cream, and Baltas beer, where “thank you” is pronounced “achoo,” like a sneeze. Vilnius is the city closest to the geographical center of Europe, and because it’s also at a cultural crossroads, the city has […]

August 3, 2009

Writing for Free 5

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This HuffPo writer is right. Not paying writers is not a business model. Or if it is, it’s not a sustainable model. She touches on many good points in this debate, namely that only those that can afford to write for free will do so, meaning that we’ll increasingly be hearing from the idle rich […]

August 3, 2009

The Millions Top Ten: July 2009 – And Introducing the Hall of Fame 3

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We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use […]

August 2, 2009

Curiosities: The Bowflex of Bookishness 0

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The August issue of Open Letters is available. Nestled amidst the literary fare are early Oscar nominations from Sarah Hudson and a piece on the video game The Sims by Phillip A. Lobo. Electric Literature teamed up with animator Jonathan Ashley and musician Nick DeWitt to produce an animated trailer for Jim Shepard’s “Your Fate […]

July 31, 2009

My Future Nemesis 8

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When I was in graduate school, a good friend of mine decided I needed a nemesis. She already had one – or many, depending on the day – but my particular nemesis would be chosen on aesthetic grounds. This would be a classmate whose work in some way hurt my own: their short stories and […]