Recent Articles

February 13, 2009

Surrealpolitik: A Review of Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Senselessness and Francisco Goldman’s The Art of Political Murder 1

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I. A man is condemned to a small room in a castle in a land that is not his own. A thousand typewritten pages cover the desk before him. Each of the thousand pages recounts two hundred murders. The man will not be released until he has read every word of every cold-blooded killing, and […]

February 12, 2009

The New Yorker Shrinkage Watch 0

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In December, we noticed the slimness of the New Yorker’s year-end Fiction Issue, and more recently Gawker has been on the case. Now, the Anniversary Issue hitting newsstands last week, though chock-full of goodies, also felt much lighter than normal. As it turns out, at 122 pages, it was 38 pages lighter than a year […]

February 12, 2009

eBook Evolution: Amazon and Google on Different Paths 2

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Amazon sucked the all the air out of the literary room this week with its announcement of the new iteration of its Kindle reading device. That the announcement was coming had been no big secret to anyone paying attention and pictures of the device had been floating around online for at least five months, but […]

February 11, 2009

An Appetite for GN’R 0

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Slash’s memoir, Slash, became the surprise hard-rock book hit of the year after it received two votes from two Charleses (D’Ambrosio and Bock) in our 2008 Year in Reading roundup. In contrast, the recent Axl Rose biography, W.A.R.: The Unauthorized Biography of William Axl Rose, received none. Slash’s honesty and openness endear him to us […]

February 10, 2009

A Girl’s Guide to Becoming an Intellectual: Susan Sontag’s Journals 3

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There’s an abundance of literature that tells teenage girls, as well as some of us older ones too, “how to.” Within, she discovers what makes guys tick, how to tame unruly skin, and lessons on looking good. Image, image everywhere, and this no doubt is practiced and perfected within her Facebook profile, and among her […]

February 9, 2009

The Return of the Kindle 1

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The book world’s big news today was Amazon’s unveiling of the latest iteration of its eBook reading device, the Kindle 2. You’ll see that the device itself is now remarkably thin (even to those of us who now take tininess in devices for granted). As the promo copy says, “just over 1/3 of an inch, […]

February 9, 2009

Inter Alia #15: Toward a Phenomenology of Snark 2

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Today on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, David Denby put in an appearance promoting his new book, Snark.

February 8, 2009

Short Fiction Workshop 0

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I’m teaching another eight-week Short Fiction Workshop, which will begin March 12, 2009. This course differs from previous ones in that, aside from our examinations of published short fiction, we will also be reading nonfiction writing about writing (so far I’ve got Annie Dillard, Italo Calvino and Lewis Hyde on the list – with possible […]

February 8, 2009

Curiosities: Pretend Lunch 1

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In Open Letters, Sam Sacks writes “Quietude is godliness in Lark & Termite” and traces Faulkner’s influence on the new book. n+1 on the 10th anniversary of Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time”: “After her came the deluge: the end of the record industry as we know it, yes, but also the end of America […]

February 6, 2009

The Complete New Yorker, Priced to Move 5

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This must be some sign of the times: our friends at The New Yorker are currently offering the DVD-ROM set of “every page of every issue” at the fire sale price of $19.99 (and Amazon has it for as cheap as $16.72 as of this writing, though the sets for sale there may only be […]