Features

Praying in the Outer Sunset

There’s a discipline to both religious faith and drug addiction: to maintain either of them you have to ritualize your own frustration. You have to continually hold out hope, see yourself disappointed, and offer your hope up again.

Objectively False

If stress makes us sick, all the more reason for us to avoid it; having medical evidence to back this up helps to bolster that argument. But surely we are not so neurotic as a society, so distrustful of our own subjective experience, that we need the supposedly objective ratification of an outside authority to make it seem valid?

Friedrich Nietzsche: Edu-hater

“Honored listeners,” “Honored listeners!” “Honored audience!,” then back to “Honored listeners!” for the final two lectures. So Nietzsche would greet those assembled at Basel’s city museum in the early months of 1872 to hear the talented young philologist and recent university hire speak “On the Future of our Educational Institutions.” (republished by NYRB as Anti-Education). […]

On Roberto Arlt’s THE SEVEN MADMEN

Before you read it­, you might see a quote from Roberto Bolaño on the back cover: Let’s say, modestly, that Arlt is Jesus Christ. You can ignore the blurb; you can have an original relationship with the book. Maybe this is what you should do.

Paragard Don’t Get One: my copper IUD library

In November, I had the copper IUD, called Paragard, implanted in my uterus, to ensure a 99% chance of unconceivable fucking.

Apple and the Aesthetics of Empty Aspiration

Apple has absorbed the imagery of political resistance and the consumerist promises of technological innovation into a single, aspirational aesthetic.

What Twitter Does to a Novel; What a Novel Does to Twitter

I started the account with hopes the daily dips into the book would help me figure out a way to teach such an odd text, but I really learned that the novel is great for Twitter for the same reason it’s not so great for college freshmen.

City by City

In the creative cities model, liberty precedes equality and fraternity. The latter two are said to follow close behind, but the logic of the lie has been exposed time and time again, city by city.

Best of Features, 2015

Our favorite features from 2015, spanning topics from dinosaurs in philosophy to hucksterism in American literature.

Beyond Bolaño and Beyond

Critics have put forth a few names, but so far there is no Next Bolaño yet. Not in terms of global readership or consensus, at least. So how are anglophone readers to know what Latin American literature commands our attention?