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Fiction

All in a Day’s Work

July 12, 2011
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These types of genres are a narratologist’s dream, because one can spend an inordinate amount of time (even in a 190 page book like this one) teasing out the tiniest components of this unfamiliar world.

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Caleb’s Passing

June 20, 2011
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The climax of the novel is so mawkish that its downright dismissal of the fraught implications of his “achievement” are extremely troubling.

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The Narratology of LOST: Loops and Privileged Positions

June 8, 2011
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LOST generates the final thrust of its narrative through even more privileged positions.

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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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Notes on reading David Foster Wallace’s short story “John Billy”

April 8, 2011
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We passed the jars around and unscrewed Minogue’s bootleg lids.
We was silent at our table, expected T. Rex dead, or at least twisted, traumatized, Nunn-struck.
‘Hi,’ he said.

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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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Sentimentality vs. Feeling

March 29, 2011
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True feeling has the force of grace; sentimentality has the stench of morals. The word “should” and “must” cling to its fat cherubic legs. Half comprised of self regard, and the other half a mixture of cliche, the sentimental is close to the feigned regard of the funeral director: appropriate, and grave, but with one eye on the itemized bill.

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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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Glory Pee

January 21, 2011
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Nobody else contemporary or comparable to the young Rachel B. Glaser writes as epiphanic structures as these or plays with the purpose and effect of fiction with such verve

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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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Moby-Dick and metafiction ethics

November 30, 2010
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There should be a warning on the cover of Moby-Dick. Beware, it should say, reading this will require blood.

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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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