literary criticism Archive
Behaving authentically in the world is never easy or straightforward; critics like William Gass show us, among many other things, that we are not alone in these questions of authenticity, and that we never really have been.
We misunderstand each other and we pull away. Even within one language like English, words mean different things to different people, and we gravitate towards those who use this meaning-making technology as we do. Some people struggle to differentiate between systemic issues and issues of personality. The quest for
Carmen Maria Machado’s critical work reflects wide-ranging interests, and some of her most exciting writing takes place in reviews of fiction that resembles her own—literature that is speculative, scary, and queer.
I stumbled upon David Orr’s work through his piece “Why Is a Poet’s First Collection So Important?” published in the New York Times at the beginning of February. The Facebook preview of the piece featured pictures of poets Donika Kelly and Max Ritvo below that earnest headline.