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.

Confounding Reading: Notes from a Conversation

I like the fact that you can see error moments that have been used to do something and, also, that there are other latent, inelegant bits that could be resolved differently. I like having both—utilised errors and potentially resolvable parts that nonetheless remain uncoopted.

James M. Chesbro

“The daydream emerged as such an unbidden gift.”

Graffiti In The Woods: Searching For Definitions of Jewish Space

We were holding our seder in a Jerusalem that was very much part of chol, though also part of the holy—we were at the table, in my apartment, in the city of Jerusalem, it felt different than when we do the same thing in Cleveland. Yet, we still long each year, for the transcendent Jerusalem.

Turning Back: On Cristina Rivera Garza’s THE ILIAC CREST

Garza’s boldest choice in the novel was to make her narrator the patriarchy. That is, his behavior is marked by secrecy, without intuition, his actions with women defined by received knowledge.

Google, Godwin, & the Philosopher’s Stone

Godwin’s conviction of the possibility of immortality, which only a few years ago might have seemed quixotic and a bit embarrassing, has come back into fashion.

The American Soldier in Arab Novels

Iraqi writers, by and large, have created worlds where the soldier’s perspective, either Iraqi or foreign, isn’t primary.

The Children’s Classic That Secretly Brought Existentialist Philosophy Into American Homes

Maybe there is another model for fantasy, one that does not simply eschew the Christian framework established by Tolkien and Lewis that so defines the genre, but complicates it, turning the focus away from destiny and back to moral choice, to human agency.