February 19, 2021
February 19, 2021
Brit Bennett, Peter Blackstock, Ariel Chu, Jonathan Dee, Mark Doten, Jane Hu, Claire Jarvis, Mark Krotov, Christopher James Llego, Rachel Ossip, Zeynep Özakat, Allison Pitinii Davis, Angela Qian, Dana Spiotta, Shelley Wong, Su Wu
January 14, 2021
On Joan Micklin Silver (1935–2020)
If, as Manny Farber and Patricia Patterson wrote, the Godfather movies are uppercase filmmaking, the movie synonym for those Gothic friezes that one submissively admires before walking into the garish church that they adorn, then Hester Street is proudly lowercase.
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September 1, 2020
There are writers who should not be allowed to vanish and go silent for so long, much as they might prefer to do so
It was the wrong moment in American letters to be a gay, Black man writing about the South. It didn’t matter if you could write a sex scene of the kind that would, twenty years in the future, earn Garth Greenwell a national book award nomination, while also channeling the blues cadences of Alfred Murray. If you weren’t Toni Morrison or, on the mass market side, Terry McMillan, you weren’t anybody. Publishing had no room for a diversity of diversity.
May 30, 2020
Interviews with Larry Kramer (1935–2020) and Gregg Bordowitz
May 19, 2020
You’ve never thought about fighting your father?
March 30, 2020
On Michael Sorkin, 1948–2020
Sorkin died needlessly, at the hands of a monstrous President he diagnosed better than most back in the summer of 2016, when too many of us dismissed analogy as overstatement. Sorkin began writing for the Village Voice in the late ’70s, his office was up the street from Trump SoHo, and his beat was architecture, money, power, fascism. Of course he understood.
February 13, 2020
I need your advice
February 7, 2020
“Interesting read,” was Kobe’s verdict. “#MuseOn.”
Over the course of several meetings in 2017 and 2018, I taught Kobe and his crew a smattering of ancient history. I had known about him for many years—since he first came to the Lakers. Among my earliest memories of shame comes from his first or second season: I thought that since his team-mate Shaquille O’Neill was clearly somehow Irish, Kobe, too, must be Irish, and so I referred to him (in front of friends, and friends’ parents) as Kobe O’Bryant. I was maybe 8; the memory still stings.
February 6, 2020
A critic and his critics
George Steiner is a charming but monstrous narcissist, and the evening spent with him and the Poet at the Professor of Poetry’s house was amazing. Things got started when another Professor, the Poet, and an Artist (the Poet’s spouse), complained laughingly about the xerox machine in the University English Department.
January 14, 2020
Introduction to Orpheus
October 16, 2019
This was one of Bloom’s gifts, to hear in any single work many voices. Poems were not themselves. A voice was not just one voice. And Bloom as Falstaff was not Bloom either, only a mask, a shadow: “I call to the mysterious one who yet / Shall walk the wet sands by the edge of the stream / And look most like me, being indeed my double, / And prove of all imaginable things / The most unlike, being my anti-self, / And standing by these characters disclose / All that I seek”—that’s Yeats, whose theory of antithetical characters was one of the sources to Bloom’s Anxiety of Influence.
August 21, 2019
Remembering Ann Snitow (1943–2019)