In Praise of Bullshitting

Coover, Vollmann, Wallace, and Gayl Jones — I believe these big, wide-ranging books are postmodernism’s best, for the Bullshitters engage more directly and profoundly than the Artistes with significant cultural subjects.

The Fruits of Our Eroticism

The figs you eat have the bodies of the dead who tried to enter those to whom they are the same rather than those to whom they are different—Leviticus tells us such things are an “abomination,” and this fruit is your caution as it is your knowledge.

On PONTI by Sharlene Teo

In Southeast Asian film and culture, the pontianak has grown ubiquitous as an undead woman, cursed with immense beauty and monstrosity. This icon is at the center of Sharlene Teo’s Ponti, a novel that chronicles the lives of three misfit women.

The Gift of the Gabo

For García Márquez, anecdotes always served as kernels of truth, experiences both whittled down to their most elemental and novelistic tales in need of being fleshed out.

Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen

The general proximity of Alex Israel’s SPF-18

The Bridge, The Pyramid and The Spire

Parable as architecture; construction as crime

Democracy, Nature, Manifest Destiny

What makes Crane’s modernist epic so instructive for the twenty-first century is how it discovers ample room in nature for humanity’s freedom struggle.

Notes from Year One

A dialectical reflection on graduate education, and God

The Tenderness Junction

There is a direct link between listening and life, perceivable in its absence. What we cannot say and what we cannot hear matter.

Utopia Can Be Banal: The Unfinished Ballad of Kenny Dennis

It’s too easy to write Kenny Dennis off as just a joke. While there are aspects of Kenny that seem wholly ridiculous, Cohn makes his story expansive and dark, and he settles on an exuberance that overcomes Kenny’s struggle.