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Harold Bloom's 'The American Literary Canon'

The authors included in Harold Bloom's The American Literary Canon conform to a singular American aesthetic that, in Bloom's world, makes them superior to the spectrum of the American experience.

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On Sound and Rhythm in Text: Angela Leighton's 'Hearing Things'

Imaginative listening while reading, as Leighton demonstrates so masterfully, is not only a form of cognition but also a physical experience as we read or write literary texts.

Books

On Nabokov's Experiments with Fragmented Dream Time

Nabokov's work is a fascinating read for all the questions it raises—some of which the world's best minds have been tackling for centuries.

Books

Huddled Masses and New Media: 'How the Other Half Looks'

How America's ur-ghetto, New York's Lower East Side, changed the way we see ourselves.

Books

The Many Benefits of Travel: Paul Theroux's 'Figures in a Landscape'

Travel of the kind Theroux has spent a lifetime doing would compel anyone to develop patience, a love of solitude and anonymity, a constant alertness, and a resourceful toughness.

Books

Did Women Writers Change the 20th Century New York Intellectual Scene?

Michelle Dean's Sharp challenges readers to consider what we gain from reading the lives and works of women writers and how they shaped cultural and socio-political thought in the 20th century and beyond.

Books

He's Martin Amis...and We're Not

The recent release of The Rub of Time once again marks Martin Amis amongst our most proficient critics, seemingly without peer in terms of his range and scope.

Books

'The Hatred of Literature' Will Deeply Satisfy Lovers of Literature

This is a deep dive into the history of literature and the murky threats it's faced that have only served to make it stronger.

Books

Dan Brown Meets Roland Barthes in 'The Seventh Function of Language'

Laurent Binet's over-the-top amalgam of the airport conspiracy thriller and the French intelligentsia poses a simple question: can high theory be thrilling?

Books

Literary reactions to cultural implosion

After Ireland considers the changing culture, the changing identity, and a fast-changing Ireland in the varied voices and languages of its literature.

Books

Encounter Across the Abyss: Examining the Ontology of the Self in Toni Morrison's 'The Origins of Others'

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

Books

Recognizing Structures of Genocide: Toni Morrison's 'The Origin of Others'

In these times, when hope can seem an empty concept, Morrison reminds us that fiction is a laboratory for emerging philosophies and politics.

Books

So It's About Time I Asked, Who Is Susan Sontag?

Susan Sontag: Essays of the 1960s & 70s and reflections on being under the influence of Camille Paglia.

Reviews

On Saul Bellow's Artful Two-mindedness

There may be simply too much to think about, but Saul Bellow certainly made a valiant effort over the course of his long career.

Books

Unbuttoning America: A Biography of Peyton Place

With its frank discussions of poverty, sexuality, class and ethnic discrimination, and small-town hypocrisy, Peyton Place was more than a tawdry potboiler.

Ardis Cameron
Books

On James Wolcott's Engaging, Irritating, Snarky and Insightful Criticisms

In Critical Mass James Wolcott directs us to the intellectuals, entertainers, performers, and/or celebrities who have graced, cursed, or captivated him ever since he quit Frostburg State and hit Woody's Manhattan.

Games

The Undead Author: Artistic Ownership of Games

If, as Roland Barthes writes, “the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author,” than what happens when the author can return to life?

Books

The Devil Gets His Due: The Uncollected Essays of Leslie Fiedler. Ed. Samuele F.S. Pardini

Whatever the subject at hand, nearly every page of this collection evinces Fiedler’s intelligence, erudition, panache, and combativeness.

Books

The Story About the Story: Great Writers Explore Great Literature edited by J.C. Hallman

J.C. Hallman writes about what he calls a “kind of personal literary analysis, criticism that contemplates rather than analyzes” that inspired him to compile these works by writers from Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence to Susan Sontag and Milan Kundera.

Books

Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Poets Life by Scott Donaldson

Donaldson sets out to rescue Robinson from his detractors and his admirers alike.

Patrick Kurp
Books

Shakespeare the Thinker by A.D. Nuttall

To be or not to be a philosopher did not concern Shakespeare, so far as we know. And we know very little.

Carlin Romano
Books

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

While many of us are proud of reading regularly, voraciously, or eclectically, how many of us really pay close attention to what we read?

Mikita Brottman
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