John Pistelli

writer

Tag Archives: literary theory

Samuel Johnson, Selected Essays

Selected Essays by Samuel Johnson My rating: 4 of 5 stars This Penguin Classics collection of essays by the great English critic and moralist Samuel Johnson is devoted largely to … Continue reading

6 October 2018 · 1 Comment

Against Celebration: Bloomsday vs. Dallowayday

Two years ago, Elaine Showalter suggested that we balance Bloomsday (June 16, the day whereon Joyce’s Ulysses is set) with Dallowayday: Like Joyce’s Ulysses, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway is set … Continue reading

16 June 2018 · Leave a comment

Albert Murray, The Hero and the Blues

The Hero And the Blues by Albert Murray My rating: 5 of 5 stars Albert Murray is, as the fashion journalists say, having a moment. His collected non-fiction and fiction/poetry … Continue reading

19 May 2018 · Leave a comment

Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson My rating: 2 of 5 stars This theory-inflected memoir of “(queer) family making,” to quote the jacket copy, so assiduously defends itself that there is … Continue reading

17 April 2018 · Leave a comment

Claudia Rankine, Citizen

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine My rating: 3 of 5 stars Citizen is a prose-poetry compendium of racial microaggressions aimed at a poetic speaker who nevertheless speaks in … Continue reading

27 November 2017 · 3 Comments

Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo

Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo My rating: 5 of 5 stars It sometimes seems as if great novels—where “great” implies success at the historico-political task of summing an epoch or … Continue reading

12 July 2017 · 1 Comment

Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right by Angela Nagle My rating: 3 of 5 stars Kill All Normies is like three … Continue reading

9 July 2017 · 4 Comments

Bloomsday Notes: Jung on Joyce

The emergence of a literature which is predominantly concerned with the exploration of both a social reality and individual consciousness is a relatively recent phenomenon. Its first clear manifestations date … Continue reading

16 June 2017 · Leave a comment

Georg Lukács, The Meaning of Contemporary Realism

The Meaning of Contemporary Realism by Georg Lukács My rating: 2 of 5 stars I have always been attracted to the idea that art was more than about taste. Tabooed … Continue reading

10 May 2017 · 3 Comments

A Personal Canon

A number of book bloggers are posting their personal canons. They are very fun: see here, here, and here, for instance. (It reminds me of the “literary pillars” exercise inspired … Continue reading

30 April 2017 · 8 Comments