Reading Archive

Wishes Gone Wrong: A Woman’s “Place” in Fairy Tales

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“I wish” is a foolish phrase in fairy tales. It even has its own Aarne-Thompson tale type (750A), aptly called “Foolish Wishes.” It’s easy to see why wishing pops up in stories (and movies and television), but why are wishes so often foolish?

Space Fiction vs. Space Discovery

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Much of Earth is no longer habitable; still, the child reaches for the milk, the branch drinks from the root, and time goes on. You don’t remember when or where you heard it, but every so often you yearn for the reminder that the stars look very different today.

How to Tell a Story in a Quiet Year

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There is no one way to tell a story and at the table. Some stories can be told with a map, a deck of cards, and a group of friends trying their best to build a civilization.

The Limits and Freedoms of Literary Regionalism: Edward P. Jones and the Other Side of Capitol Hill

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Edward P. Jones does not represent the Washington D.C. of the mainstream—no national monuments perforating his setting, no overt commentary on policy, no presidential-brand elitism lacing his words. Instead, he simply writes the life of the local everyman and pushes anything beyond that into the background, making excess as

Gone Transparent: The Real-World Relevance of the Radical Transparency in Dave Eggers’ THE CIRCLE

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It could be argued that The Circle, Dave Eggers’ 2013 techno-satire of an all-powerful Faceboogle-type company, goes after some easy targets. After all, it’s common to bemoan the exhaustingly hyperconnected state of a society dependent on social media.

Beyond Modernism: Eimear McBride and Embodiment 

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How does McBride employ and expand modernism? Is it her rendering of fragmented, burgeoning female subjectivities that defines her? Or is it her continuing to push form at the level of the sentence?​

Somewhere Else: One Woman and Her Car

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About two years ago, I arranged for a one-way ride to York, Maine, to buy a 2004 Toyota Matrix that I found on Craigslist. While the owner counted the cash, he gave me a brief history of my new car.

Threatened with budget cuts, literary programs fight on

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Organizations engaged in the day-to-day work of running NEA-funded literary programs are continuing to serve their communities while facing potential budget cuts.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not: the Love Poem and the Elegy

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All of my attempted love poems sound like elegies, and so I’ve given up trying to write them for my beloved, lest I give the wrong impression. Occasionally, however, one will come to me like a windfall, a speck of gold in the pan.

The Affair’s Gender-Swapped “Madwoman in the Attic”

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In the third season of The Affair, one of the Solloway children comes home excited to tell his mother that he’s participating in a musical version of Jane Eyre.