Recent Articles

February 22, 2017

The Cruelest Joke: Laughing Through Tragedy 2

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It’s cathartic to hear David Cross rip Donald Trump to shreds. Just as it’s cathartic to listen to Louis C.K. make fun of himself. Just as it’s cathartic to escape in Mitch Hedberg jokes instead of thinking about the sick person I just spoke to on the phone. But the laughter doesn’t change anything.

February 21, 2017

Arrival Is a Movie About Movies (Not Language) 0

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Because the plot of Ted Chiang’s story is so intricately meshed with its medium — the very words that comprise a short story, and the way that we process a linear narrative as we read it off the page — it would be impossible to make a film that engages with language in the same way.

February 21, 2017

Against Readability 45

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“Readable” has become the chosen term of praise in our times precisely because so many of us find ourselves unable to concentrate as we once could or still aspire to. But to praise readability is to embrace the vicious feedback loop that our culture now finds itself in.

February 21, 2017

Tuesday New Release Day: Coetzee; Li; Enriquez; Hoffman; Hogan; Puchner; Shepard 0

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Out this week: The Schooldays of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee; Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li; Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez; Running by Cara Hoffman; The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan; Last Day On Earth by Eric Puchner; and The World to Come by Jim Shepard. For more on these and other new titles, go […]

February 20, 2017

Five Ways ‘Homo Deus’ by Yuval Noah Harari Changed My Life 2

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I am an avalanche of electric signals fired by billions of neurons that stimulate glands to secrete hormones and make my muscles contract in such a way that chocolate finds its way to my mouth.

February 20, 2017

The Transcendent Power of Triangular Fiction 4

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I believe that fiction should work on at least three levels of interpretation: The personal, the conceptual, and the philosophical. In other words, the shape of the core of great works of fiction must be triangular — it must be emotional, cerebral, and sublime.

February 17, 2017

Heather O’Neill Wants You to Reclaim Your Sense of Wonder: The Millions Interview 0

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Whenever I finish a book, I put it down and the world seems to explode with new meanings. On some level, literature assumes that every reader is a child.

February 17, 2017

The Fishermen: The Play 0

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A Nottingham-based theatre company will adapt Millions staffer Chigozie Obioma’s Man Booker-shortlisted novel The Fishermen for the stage. The production is scheduled for next year.

February 17, 2017

In Sickness and in Health: Mike Scalise and the Illness Narrative 0

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Scalise aligns himself with many other writers of illness narratives who understand that, although their disease may be horrible, it also confers a sense of uniqueness and individuality on the sufferer, at least temporarily.

February 16, 2017

All Lit Up: Finding Style Advice in Classic Literature 1

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My innate interest in beauty was stoked by 20th-century literature and the captivating female characters who populate it.