Columns > Books

Thursday, October 19 2017

Clowns Are Up to a Different Kind of Funny Business, These Days

"Creepy clowns" have become the rule, not the exception. How and when did clowns change from entertainers to tormentors?


Tuesday, October 17 2017

Weapons of Poetry and Images: On the Works of Pier Paolo Pasolini

A thread runs through Pasolini's artistic and political work for which he used various terms to identify the sacred, the mythic, the soul, and the spirit -- all strategies for appreciating life in even the most difficult circumstances.


Tuesday, October 10 2017

10 Conversation-Shifting Contemporary Books About Music

These are multiple works of genre history and works tackling important issues of race, class, and gender. All challenge dominant narratives of music.


Monday, October 9 2017

Parody, Pastiche, and Poignant Observation: On Polish Journalist Ryszard Kapuscinsi’s Insight

Kapuscinski's journalism reminds us that the boundary between truth and fiction is one that needs to be pushed at more often.


Friday, October 6 2017

‘Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows’, ‘Marriage of a Thousand Lies’ & ‘No One Can Pronounce My Name’

While the post-9/11 period and its racialization and criminalization of brown bodies marked one epoch of the South Asian experience, recent South Asian immigrant literature suggests the beginning of another frame: sexuality.


Monday, October 2 2017

Take It on the Chin: Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast in Print

Waiting for the Punch an engaging read of excerpts from the WTF Podcast, shows that "(E)veryone’s journey to the bottom is different."


Friday, September 29 2017

‘Notes of a Crocodile’, The Taiwanese Queer Cult Classic Now in English Translation

Many can relate to the sense of being a monster in a human suit, of being “unnatural”, of the ways in which queer people are constantly reminded that something is amiss about their desire.


Wednesday, September 27 2017

Threads of Humor in the Darkest Places: Gail Honeyman on Her Debut Book About Mental Illness

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, now being adapted for a feature film, artfully balances dark humor and cathartic pathos.


On the Fullness Found in Emptiness: The Mojave School in the Nevada Desert

To some, Pahrump, Nevada, is just a stop on the back roads to Death Valley. To Watkins, it's a fringe town within a fringe state -- a place where literature can take root.


Tuesday, September 26 2017

Hard to Stomach: Romania, Anti-Semitism, and the Lessons of Fascism

Mihail Sebastian's depiction of the many faces of anti-Semitism in For Two Thousand Years, from workplace jokes to street violence, is breath-taking in its horror.


Monday, September 25 2017

Was the Blues Born on a Vaudeville Stage?

Black creative and economic self-determination within the music industry didn’t begin with Chance the Rapper, or Prince, or even Motown.


Friday, September 22 2017

A World Made of War: On Oriana Fallaci’s Fearless Journalism

Cristina de Stefano’s discusses her perceptive insight into the fascinating Italian journalist with Oriana Fallaci, a book delivered in a riveting and engaging narrative style that’s evocative of Fallaci herself.


Thursday, September 21 2017

Norse Code: The Rise of Nordic Literature

Nordisk Books, a small, UK-based press, is behind the push of a Nordic literature revival. PopMatters talks with Duncan Lewis about taking the genre beyond the usual crime novels.


Tuesday, September 19 2017

‘Eye Chart’ Is About Much More Than Just Identifying Objects Near and Far

The "Object Lessons" series continues with this brief but rich exploration into why we see, when we see, how clearly we see, and what we understand about the things we see.


Monday, September 18 2017

Never Settle, Never Rest on Your Laurels: Activist Catherine Hernandez on Her Book, ‘Scarborough’

Theatre practitioner Catherine Hernandez reveals the complexity of representation and responsibility in writing fiction.


Friday, September 15 2017

Walter White, Heisenberg, and Time Out of Mind: The Legacy of ‘Breaking Bad’

An examination of how AMC's Breaking Bad played with the conventions of time, character, and attitude.


Wednesday, September 13 2017

‘Soul Survivor’: On Al Green, Coming to Terms With His Powers

This book is a compelling and exhaustively detailed account of a man at peace with his life, a man who may... be pleased with a final exit that sees him keeling over dead in mid-sermon.


Friday, September 8 2017

‘Television Antiheroines’: Wherein Women Stake Their Claim to Darkness and Desperation

An examination of the changing political/ sexual/ power roles of women in international television crime and prison drama, from The Sopranos through Orange is the New Black.


Friday, September 1 2017

How ‘The Quiet American’ Continues to Colonize Vietnam

Neither bombs nor bumbling Americans broke the will of the Vietnamese. Something far more insidious and far-reaching, however, may have.


Tuesday, August 29 2017

Does the Recent Scholarship on ‘Mein Kampf’ Risk Giving It More Legitimacy Than It Deserves?

Fringe bohemians and academic dropouts can produce great beauty and brilliance, in addition to great horrors. So what’s the point?


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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