A short list of big books I have used to kill spiders around my house

The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama Critical Theory Since 1965, Hazard Adams and Leroy Searle, eds. Nixonland, Rick Perlstein Freedom, Jonathan Franzen We’ve been getting a decent amount of spiders lately. Big, heavy hardbacks do have some uses—it’s not like I was going to swing my iPad at any eight-legged intruders. Update: Another one […]

What Denis Johnson and Hamlin Garland Have in Common

What do Denis Johnson and Hamlin Garland—two writers seemingly otherwise unrelated—have in common? Johnson is the lit-famous author of  Tree of Smoke: A Novel and Jesus’ Son: Stories. Hamlin Garland used to be quite famous, but now rarely appears outside of footnotes in anthologies. Johnson’s Train Dreams: A Novella was a Pulitzer finalist this year; Garland […]

Anxiety is Omnivorous; or, Can Reading Ever Be Bad For You?

I would recommend  this fantastic piece over at Guernica. It’s about the anxiety of the writer Daniel Smith, which prompts many questions about anxiety generally. Somehow I missed this one (it was published a little less than a month ago). But it’s a must-read. Smith has written about anxiety for the New York Times and has a forthcoming […]

Charles Olson and “The Art of Fielding”

The scholar’s dream: the finding of a rare text that illuminates an author or a period of history, or that allows us to reconsider something we otherwise thought well-established. Chad Harbach’s novel The Art of Fielding, which I recently reviewed, contains such an event—an event, as it turns out, that was probably based on a real […]