Recent Articles

November 5, 2010

Zadie Smith on The Social Network 1

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“Why Facebook? Why this format?… The striking thing about the real Zuckerberg, in video and in print, is the relative banality of his ideas concerning the ‘Why’ of Facebook. He uses the word ‘connect’ as believers use the word ‘Jesus,’ as if it were sacred in and of itself…” Zadie Smith considers “Generation Why” and […]

November 5, 2010

Bad Romance: Madame Bovary, Translated by Lydia Davis 8

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Given Flaubert’s obsession with style and craft, any translation of Madame Bovary into English requires not merely competence but a touch of full-on windmill-charging madness.  Lydia Davis has this madness, tempered by a Flaubertian fastidiousness and dedication to language.  The results are exhilarating.

November 5, 2010

Poetic Notions: Martha Cooley’s The Archivist 1

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A friend once characterized his relationship with poetry as infrequent, intense, and somewhat involuntary; my relationship is the same.

November 4, 2010

The Literary Criticism of T.S. Eliot 0

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“[M]ore people have thought Hamlet a work of art because they found it interesting, than have found it interesting because it is a work of art.” Who other than T.S. Eliot could get away with questioning the artistic quality of Hamlet?

November 4, 2010

Amazon’s Top 100 0

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Amazon has finished unveiling its top-100 books for 2010. At the top of the big list: Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

November 4, 2010

American Rust and Other Recession Fictions 2

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Besides getting the economic indicators right, Philipp Meyer understands that socioeconomic malaise and personal malaise are two sides of the same coin. He shows, through the eyes of each of the main characters, the human consequences of a sick economy.

November 3, 2010

What’s the Value of NaNoWriMo? 2

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At Salon, Laura Miller protests National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a., NaNoWriMo) and its participants, saying the month-long writing marathon is a waste of time.  At the Los Angeles Times book blog Jacket Copy, Carolyn Kellogg disagrees.

November 3, 2010

Amazon’s Top 100 of the Year 0

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Amazon is tweeting its top 100 books of the year today on its Twitter account. (Thanks, Darryl)

November 3, 2010

6 Book Titles That Will Blow Your Mind! 0

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“7 Awesome Ways Barnyard Animals Are Like Communism.” From McSweeneys, great literature retitled to boost website traffic.

November 3, 2010

Zora Neale Hurston, Girl Detective 0

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“Where is the black version of Caddie Woodlawn (a 19th-century Wisconsin tomboy) or Harriet the Spy (a 20th-century Upper East Sider), smart, spunky, fictional heroines for the tween crowd?” Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon fictionalize beloved Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston as a girl detective in Zora and Me.