College Essays

The first step to a literary life is an education. College essay excerpts from Frank O’Hara, Cormac McCarthy, Virginia Woolf, E.L. James, and Ernest Hemingway.

Global Trends, Alternative Worlds

What’s especially interesting about Global Trends 2030 is that it includes four fictional “Alternative Worlds,” or four possible futures depending upon how current trends play out.

Whales Don’t Have Any Money: On the Successes and Failures of Paul Quarrington’s Whale Music

The literary marketplace has not been particularly welcoming to narratives about fictional rock’n’roll stars in the last several decades.

In a World Governed by Economists and Poets

Human desires and intents are more complicated than what can be captured by quantifying costs and benefits. And sometimes our real choices are much simpler than the dozens of counter-factuals an economist might want to run to find the optimal course of action.

It’s like this, Anna

Somehow, even with the tousled hair and the cheap cigarettes, Anna Karina always managed to look every bit as dazzling as Audrey Hepburm, if not more so, simply by virtue of the fact that she knew how to match a gun with a pleated skirt, and would probably recite Marx with superb accuracy if you asked nicely and offered her a light.

Anna Karenina, Again

Stoppard takes whichever elements please him and use them to assemble a fascinating Fabergé egg of a movie, an object to marvel at. Compressions in time express themselves in impossible spaces. Anna Karenina is as tightly wound as an old-fashioned clock, as carefully constructed as a music box.

A Modest Proposal For The Precariat Class: Dalkey Archive and Intern Nation

Dalkey Archive Press, in an act that feels a little like ex post facto justification and a little like misguided reprisal, has suspended the intern program, perhaps permanently, which is really just a lose-lose shame.

Literary Television vs. Literature on TV

The implicit contrast of the acclaimed “Dickensian” shows is that of reality TV, but a reality TV show featuring competitive author performances could flip that construction on its head.

Oblivion By Design: Drones and Social Media

In a digital age of digital warfare fought (on one side, at least) on computer screens, a reaction on computer screens is only natural.

War is Hell

Casting policy in a military light is certainly not a new practice, of course, but today’s skirmishes are a far cry from the legislative crusades of the last century.