Our fiction — great mirror that it should be —- stares down the reader’s demands as to contemporary realism. Three recent novels — Night Film, Zadie Smith’s NW, and Tao Lin’s Taipei — are called on to catch up, or gracefully decline to keep pace at all.
Aesthetic beauty, or its opposite, plays seemingly no role in the strict objectivity of scientific discourse. Art invents, science discovers. And yet, this is of course not really true at all.
Our anticipation of the coming catastrophe leaks from the walls, gasping with the skidding wheels of the passing trains that shift us, lumpen, from platform to platform.
When a writer repeats words and phrases, they can break away form the usual way someone reads a word and make language have a different kind of emotional weight.
The fantasy that cultural and political engagement is a gift bestowed upon the poor by often white and rich benefactors is characteristic of the all-consuming culture of gentrification, and the prevalent ideology of supply-side economics.
Many people seem happy to think of writing as something that, if simply practiced enough, can be perfected — or even worse, they think of writing as a job. But here’s one piece of advice I haven’t come across in my perusal of readily available resources: play video games.