politics Archive

Love in the Time of Tear Gas: THE NIX’s Wild Literary Style Crashes Epically Against Its Vision of Our Diminishing Culture

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The most distinctive trait of novels like The Nix is the ensemble, and the guiding principle is a recognizably American one: the bigger, the better.

“There’s only one subject. That’s the trouble”: DeLillo and Saunders in 2017

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The first paragraph I wrote after reading Saunders’s essay felt exhausting. Every sentence felt vague and hollow. But good: a feeling akin to my physical therapist standing beside me, correcting the form on my squats. Painful but good when I got it right.

Writers Descend on Washington, Promptly Resist

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The literary community descended on Washington, DC last week for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs’ annual conference, and participants seized the opportunity to register their dissent with the current administration.

Communists and Cassoulet: Julia Child on Dried Herbs, Dull Knives and Joseph McCarthy

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If Julia Child and Avis deVoto were here today, they’d be great Facebook friends. Julia and Avis bonded over food—buying it, cooking it and eating it. But since they were without technology, they wrote letters, which Joan Reardon collected into a book titled As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis

The Best Essay I Read This Month: “How Trump Made Hate Intersectional,” by Rembert Browne

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Browne rightly points out that the engine behind Trump’s last 18 months of momentum has been his willingness to target any marginalized group without discretion, to unite his base through an undifferentiated, broad-spectrum hatred of anyone who appeared Other, no matter what kind.

Obama the Ellisonian: Another Reading of the President’s Worldview

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Early in the speech that Barack Obama gave last year to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” standing in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama, the president asked, “What can be more American than what happened in this place?” That line deserved more attention than it

Who Speaks How

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I love when people ask my friend Jenny and I how we know each other, because long before we co-taught a queer theory elective and drove cross-country and made parallel moves to Pittsburgh, she was one of my first writing teachers. It was in her Xeroxed handout of eclectic

Looking Otherwise

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We are one month post-“Formation.” In the wake of Beyoncé’s video release (/Super Bowl halftime performance/world tour announcement), a frenzy of reactions and reactions to reactions has proliferated. Only they’re not just reactions, they’re readings. On the immediate surface of the song’s lyrics, “Formation” is about being Black, and

The Place of Zines in Contemporary American Politics

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Zines straddle the border between Fluxist market-dodgers and the reputably tainted world of self-publishing literary dropouts. The difference between a zine and that 50 Shades of Grey-inspired alien erotica novel is function and intention. A zine works as a platform for writing and art that’s too provocative, political, or

Review: Circus Maximus by Andrew Zimbalist

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Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup Andrew Zimbalist Brookings Institution Press, 2015 175 pages Buy: book | ebook In a way, everything about Andrew Zimbalist’s Circus Maximus is great. The book is thoroughly researched, thoroughly argued—hard to find a hole in its logic. And