Archive

Eli S. Evans

27 January 2014

Why Elise Vans? The question by which the answer must be preceded is: “Why Eli S. Evans?” I use my middle initial—the “S” stands for Singh, which is my real middle name because my parents, who are Jewish, were identifying with Sikhism by way of their residence in Milwaukee’s local Ashram when I was born—because there is another writer by the name of Eli Evans. More…

8 June 2012

Rajoy has so far responded to the growing crisis in two ways. First, he has implemented a series of public spending cuts vicious enough to make Angela Merkel blush. In the past few months alone, the minimum copayment for medication and medical services has risen to untenable levels for many patients, and all subsidized medical services for “irregular” immigrants have been eliminated. More…

2 December 2011

Strange days here in Italy. In the newspapers and on television, they tell us that an era is ending. On the streets, as though hardly believing it ourselves, we tell each other that the dawn is finally breaking on this long, black night. Berlusconi and his empire of decadence have fallen, and we all hope that a glorious Renaissance will follow the Dark Ages to which his reign returned us. More…

14 September 2011

I remember the first time I ordered cable television on my own behalf, how the company representative, a faceless woman with a practiced monotone, prattled on over the phone, reciting the prices and programming details of the various packages she could offer me, until at last, confounded, I broke in: “Look,” I said. “The only thing I care about is ESPN.” More…

24 August 2011

At the end of the night of Wisconsin’s first round of recall elections, now some two weeks ago, liberal heads were hanging low. Democrats needed to take back three seats in order to regain control of the State Senate. That they would win two of those seats, those held by Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper, was all but given. Possibilities for winning back the critical third seat, though, were limited to District 8. More…

4 August 2011

At long last, we’ve gotten from Tiger what, according to nothing but the economy of grace, I think he owed us all along: a little bit of that other self, the one that can’t be bought or sold but only given. It’s not simply that we know certain sordid details of his preferred sexual perversions but also, for example, that he is perhaps more than a little lonely. More…

20 May 2011

If you have been following the news out of Wisconsin—the state that, though I have not lived in it for over a decade, I stubbornly insist on continuing to call “home”—then you probably already know that the recent State Supreme Court election, which pitted incumbent Justice David Prosser against a former assistant state attorney general named JoAnne Kloppenburg, was more than just that. More…

28 February 2011

My parents returned to Milwaukee early last Tuesday after spending six days at my aunt and uncle’s condo in Hollywood, Florida. My parents aren’t wealthy enough to buy their own Florida condo—and they probably wouldn’t buy a condo in Hollywood, Florida if they had that kind of money, anyway—but they do, after a combined sixty years working in public education, have enough money and security to head down there on a whim. More…

4 October 2010

This past Wednesday, the 29th of September (or, as it is now called, “29-S”), Spain’s seventh general strike since the end of the Franco dictatorship was convoked by the country’s two major labor unions, the CCOO and the UGT. Its object—which is to say, that to which it was intended to object—was the recent set of labor reforms proposed by the current ruling party, known in English as the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, and in Spanish as the Partido Socialista Obrero Español, or PSOE. More…

30 July 2010

LeBron had been a great high school basketball player in Akron and had skipped college to go to the NBA. But he had not yet played a single game, and yet there he was, reclined on a gold and red velvet throne, draped with a white fur cape, like the pelt of the endangered spotted snow leopard, resplendently bejeweled and sporting a glitzy sash of a vaguely bellicose nature. More…

14 September 2009

Chris Kraus’s I Love Dick is a great book to give as a gift to somebody you are hoping to sleep with. Explicit but subtle, its title contains two meanings, the first of which, despite appearances, is not aggressively sexual but in fact gentle and literary. And unlike flowers, which will die in a matter of days, I Love Dick can sit on a bookshelf for years, beguiling and suggestive. More…

Originally published in Issue 8: Recessional

Purchase in print »

14 November 2008

Throughout his marathon campaign Barack Obama managed to manifest a number of moments of radical privacy that, it seemed, had nothing at all to do with escaping the glare of the spotlight, nothing at all to do with not being seen or heard or otherwise captured—something that would likely have been detrimental to his campaign, and surely impossible in any event. More…

At last, having compressed five hundred years or more into thirty minutes or less, Fuentes asked, “What will be the future of Latin American literature?” I opened my notebook and uncapped my pen, thinking that the lecture would only now begin in earnest; but to my surprise, it was already ending. “In the future,” Fuentes declared, “we must be inclusive, not exclusive.” That was that. More…

10 September 2007

Francisco Umbral died as every writer should: in the midst of dictating his next newspaper column to his wife. Umbral, as it turns out, left behind over eighty published books. All the same, he is remembered at least as much for his womanizing and his notorious sexual appetite as he is for that vast body of work More…

31 March 2007

Why did I get choked up at the end of a romantic comedy starring the two of them? Was I really that surprised that, despite the fact that they faced so many obstacles, they ended up together? Did I ever entertain the notion that they would not? And why did I know enough about the story for it to choke me up without hearing a word of it? Isn’t audio supposed to be an indispensable element in cinema? More…

21 May 2005

Javier Marías’s books do not move forward, or in any event, they do not move forward very quickly, and when they do, the movement forward is not the movement that truly matters but rather the movement that marks a kind of compromise, a nod to convention and practical constraints. More…