Elizabeth Gumport

All articles by this author

Against Reviews

Against Reviews

Before the “general audience” ascended to power, aristocratic benefactors ruled the art world. For centuries, authors subsisted outside the open market. Their readers were their patrons; the audience, in theory, an audience of one, plus the hangers-on. Patronage relationships spilled into erotic ones. Eleanor of Aquitaine was surely a lover of the arts, but a Troubadour could serve multiple purposes.

We All Die There Now

We All Die There Now

Good movies, or at least pleasurably bad movies, make the worthless ones even worse. They remind us that watching Kick-Ass was not inevitable, that there are other, better ways to spend a Tuesday afternoon, an afternoon that will not come again. Maybe you can get your money back but not your time, and so whatever worth Kick-Ass has is only as a memento mori.

Gentrified Fiction

Gentrified Fiction

Brooklyn’s recent crop of nostalgic novelists

In L. J. Davis’s excellent A Meaningful Life, published a year after Desperate Characters, Lowell Lake, married managing editor of “a second-rate plumbing-trade weekly,” impulsively purchases a brownstone in Fort Greene. Once home to an industrial baron, it is now a half-decayed rooming house. The novel is dense with details of Lowell’s labor: by its final third, neither he nor the narrative leaves the house.