Albert Camus, The Rebel

The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt by Albert Camus My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Rebel is Albert Camus's answer, written in 1951, to the painful question of why the human attempt to overcome oppression, to destroy all religiously and socially prescribed hierarchies, led instead to fascism, communism, imperialism, and the softer … Continue reading Albert Camus, The Rebel

Published: “White Girl”

My short story, "White Girl," which I had thought too controversial to be published even before it took on a new and ghastly relevance this summer, appears in the first issue of the brand-new (and especially beautiful) Amaranth Review. You can read the inaugural issue in its entirety here; my story starts on page 70. Its … Continue reading Published: “White Girl”

Ales Kot and Riley Rossmo, Wild Children

Wild Children by Ales Kot My rating: 3 of 5 stars My review of wunderkind comics writer Ales Kot's graphic novel, Change, was sufficiently scathing that I did not even repost it to my main site. In short, I found his work derivative and emptily trendy, an instance of the so-called '90s revival, with added … Continue reading Ales Kot and Riley Rossmo, Wild Children

Jeanette Winterson, Art and Lies

Art and Lies by Jeanette Winterson My rating: 4 of 5 stars [Spoilers, disturbing ones at that, toward the end of this review.] My first encounter with Jeanette Winterson went badly. In college, I read Written on the Body and found it ludicrously overwritten, an imprecise prose poem wearing the guise of a novel, and … Continue reading Jeanette Winterson, Art and Lies

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes My rating: 5 of 5 stars …Felix was astonished to find that the most touching flowers laid on the altar he had raised to his imagination were placed there by the people of the underworld… —Nightwood There are so many novels I have not read that I don’t do a lot … Continue reading Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

The Extremist in Literature

Sam Tanenhaus begins his review of Jonathan Franzen's Purity with a long preamble based on Lionel Trilling's 1948 prediction that fiction, having exhausted class conflict as a narrative resource, would turn instead to ideology. Ideology, Tanenhaus explains, is meant in the strong modern post-Marxist and post-nationalist sense of "the personal is the political," where every … Continue reading The Extremist in Literature

Simone Weil, On the Abolition of All Political Parties

On the Abolition of All Political Parties by Simone Weil My rating: 3 of 5 stars If you'll allow me, dear reader, a self-indulgent preamble— Readers of my novella, The Ecstasy of Michaela, will notice a few lines from Simone Weil quoted as the heroine's reading material. This should not be mistaken for deep familiarity with … Continue reading Simone Weil, On the Abolition of All Political Parties