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Thursday, January 15 2015

The Unending Saga of Internet Cops, Robbers, and the Rest of Us

Creative chaos may be the mother of Internet invention. But inventiveness is a threat to the Powers-that-be. Is crime-fighting just another handy euphemism for Orwellian consolidation?


Glen Duncan’s Existential Horror Is So Good, It’s a Curse

These characters navigate a constellation of theological ruins and failed rationalizations, wherein existential nausea must do battle with the hunger of the werewolf Curse.


Wednesday, January 14 2015

September 11, 2001, Is Said to Be the Most Photographed Disaster in History

9/11 and the Visual Culture of Disaster examines the tremulous memory effects of the destruction of the World Trade Center.


How Pioneering Blues Women Were All But Written out of “Official” Blues History

While industry gatekeepers were invested in a specific image of black performance, black performers themselves had different ideas.


Tuesday, January 13 2015

Pop Like an Egyptian

Cairo's youth find meaning and identity in a genre that can't get any respect.


‘Ada’s Algorithm’ Dishes the Dirt and Makes the Case for the World’s First Programmer

With the enthusiasm of a celebrity journalist and the deep reading of an academic, James Essinger presents a flawed portrait of the flawed life of Lord Byron's daughter, Ada Lovelace.


Monday, January 12 2015

There’s More Than Just Magic in Neil Patrick Harris’ Clever Autobiography

What's most remarkable about Harris' freewheeling bio, Choose Your Own Autobiography, is that even with all its tricks and jokes, there's actual substance to be found here.


Saint the Boss, Intercede for us Sinners…

In attempting to distance Springsteen from his sainted reputation by humanizing him, Ryan White only manages to sanctify him all the more.


Wednesday, January 7 2015

‘People of the Twenty-First Century’ Reveals Just How Invisible Our Clothes Make Us

Hans Eijkelboom’s approach to street style photography is effective because it parodies the unique-individual-who-stands-out-in-a-crowd trope.


‘How to Be a Good Wife’ Fits the Feminist Legacy of Stories About Misdiagnosed Women

Outwardly, Marta and Hector Bjornstad’s long marriage appears tranquil, harmonious, happy. So why is Marta having visions nobody else sees?


Tuesday, January 6 2015

‘A Temporary Future’ Unpacks David Mitchell’s Nesting Doll Novels

Patrick O'Donnell's survey of David Mitchell's six novels dives into the labyrinthine, "screaming Russian doll" structures they all share.


‘A Serial Killer in Nazi Berlin’ Tells of a Killer Hiding Amidst Mass Murderers

The way in which serial killer Paul Ogorzow turned his victims into his own playthings of wickedness is a small allegory of the corruption that seeped the entire Nazi system.


Monday, January 5 2015

‘Melancholy II’ Is a Poignant Novel That Lives Up to Its Name

This melancholic Norwegian masterpiece is a beautiful, albeit acquired taste, now finally available in an English translation.


‘Syllabus’ Explores the Unconscious Mind in a Composition Book

"Accidental professor" Lynda Barry's Syllabus is a graphic novel lesson plan, one that invites readers to reflect on their unconscious perceptions.


Tuesday, December 30 2014

Donald Rumsfeld Becomes Donald the Duck in ‘Ricky Rouse Has a Gun’

The cringe-worthy humor of Ricky Rouse undercuts whatever salient satire it might have had, such as Donald Rumsfeld's disguise as the beloved Disney character Donald the Duck.


Monday, December 29 2014

‘A Cuban In Mayberry’ Travels From America’s Hometown to an All-American Nowhere

Gustavo Perez Firmat's book is a serious examination of why The Andy Griffith Show is still rerunned and revered in the 21st century, even as it slumped to its end with Mayberry R.F.D.


Tuesday, December 23 2014

‘World Film Locations: Athens’ Is Equal Parts Film Scholarship and Travel Guide

These essays provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of Athens, its relationship with the cinema, and how that relationship has evolved.


Monday, December 22 2014

One of Ireland’s Greatest Living Writers Hits Another Home Run With ‘Nora Webster’

Colm Toibin's latest literary outing is like a complex Persian rug: the reader must work to notice and appreciate the patterns.


Sunday, December 21 2014

‘Green: The History of a Color’ Is a Monochrome of Multiplicities

Green: A History is a broad-spanning visualization of this multifaceted color, one that reveals the value of seeing different shades of meaning in the color of historical artworks.


Saturday, December 20 2014

Edward St. Aubyn’s ‘On the Edge’ Brings Some Humor to Life’s Fathomless Oddness

Here's another reasonably entertaining novel of ideas from this internationally-celebrated satirist.


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