Brian Chappell

Stories Within Stories Within Stories Within…

May 23, 2011
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Okay! Fine. Tea Obreht is a veritable prodigy, and The Tiger’s Wife is uncannily good. Most (no, all) reviewers, as well as the likes of Colum McCann, TC Boyle, and Ann Patchett, say no less. But this novel is not just good for a twenty-five year old. Most of us would kill to kill it like she does.

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David Foster Wallace’s Open-Ended End Game

May 2, 2011
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Wallace over the years was most interested in narratives of suffering. Boredom (so closely linked to the problem of addiction, which he addressed in Infinite Jest) is one such type, and it takes center stage in his last book, an unfinished project published under the title The Pale King.

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Indie Bookstores: Vancouver

April 15, 2011
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But how to discern which to visit, on my limited conference schedule and lack of motorized transport? Our decided upon method was a combination of combing the neighborhoods that we already wanted to see, and tossing a net around the area of our hotel.

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Indie Bookstores: Kramerbooks

April 4, 2011
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I indulge fantasies of ownership, lament the limited capacity of my wallet and shelf space to accommodate all the books I want. But I gird myself and leave with nothing, happy to have looked, touched, but saved myself again.

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Indie Bookstores: Busboys and Poets

March 22, 2011
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Since I moved into my current house off of Kennedy street in Northwest last summer, Busboys and Poets, located just down 14th Street in the vibrant U Street corridor, has become an increasingly frequented spot. The bookstore/bar/restaurant is a cultural bastion for the bookishly inclined across the usually stark cultural divide in Washington, and the prevalent African American themes create a unique flavor not found at Kramers or Politics and Prose.

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Underground Revisited by Yahia Lababidi: With Introduction by Brian Chappell

March 1, 2011
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Abominable Ladies and Gentleman, thank me for coming!

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Ur Poems: Brian Chappell

February 11, 2011
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Ashbery causes me to pause and reflect with awed humility that I could never do what he did in this poem.

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Unstuck with Yahia Lababidi

January 26, 2011
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Yahia Lababidi remembers late nights in his dorm room at George Washington University, tossing in bed as the voices of Wilde, Rilke and Kafka reverberated around him.

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Year-End Fiction Favorites: 2010

December 27, 2010
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Why do we make lists?

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The Master’s Thesis: Synetic Theater’s The Master and Margarita

December 22, 2010
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To help get my mind around what Synetic Theater was trying to do with their adaptation of Bulgakov’s oppression-defying, faith-affirming romp The Master and Margarita, I turned to Linda Hutcheon’s helpful study of postmodern adaptations.

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Time, Death, & Video Games: Rushdie’s Luka and the Fire of Life

December 1, 2010
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If you’re going to talk about such things as parallel universes, multiple lives, determinism and free will is not the video game a reputable analog?

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What I Learned in School This Year

November 21, 2010
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Grad school: Don’t go. That is, don’t go–unless you must.

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Franco File

November 15, 2010
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If James Franco’s first name had been Ben, it would take very little to convince me that he is, in fact, the 24-hour multimedia reincarnation of the original King of Enterprise and Toil, Benjamin Franklin.

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Empathy, Cultural Dialogue, and Dead White Men

November 4, 2010
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“Bloody hell, no! I want to study dead white men!”

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