Essays and Reviews


Introducing: No Crisis,” a Los Angeles Review of Books special series on the state of critical writing in the twenty-first century. Contributions by Virginia Jackson (on Lauren Berlant), Michael Clune (on Rei Terada), Namwali Serpell (on Rita Felski), and many more. “In No Crisis, we hope to show that the art of criticism is flourishing, rich with intellectual power and sustaining beauty, in hard times.”


Ferguson’s Literary History,”
now online at Avidly, a Los Angeles Review of Books Channel, with
contributions by Caleb Smith, Anna Mae Duane, Brigitte Fielder, Janet
Neary, Jordan Stein,  Hester Blum, Peter Jaros, Glenn Hendler, Sarah
Blackwood, and Yahdon Israel.

Late Don Draper, or Television at Stage Nine,” an essay on Mad Men and media history, online at Avidly. “Mad Men, in the season before its last one, has discovered stage nine. It’s becoming a show about the beautiful death of television.”

Poe in Hard Times,” an essay on the Morgan Library’s Edgar Allan Poe exhibit, Terror of the Soul, online at Los Angeles Review of Books. “By a perverse trick of fate, Poe’s misery has become a kind of currency.”

See Something Say Something,” a short essay on Chris Burden’s Porsche with Meteorite and the New Museum’s Burden retrospective, online at Paper Monument. “The artist of the body in jeopardy, the performer of stunts so evanescent that they can only be recollected, never preserved—this same
Chris Burden has turned to sculpture on a monumental scale.”

A Spectacle in Love,” a contribution to a conversation about Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, online at The Los Angeles Review of Books. “Improbably, Luhrmann’s fantastic carnival of a 3-D movie turns out to be, in part, a story about the typing and correction of a manuscript. In the recollection of violence and loss, a lovely book is made.”

Say Hello to My Little Friend,” an essay about watching gangster movies, online at Avidly. “The Godfather chronicles the end of a line; it is an elegy for an obsolescent era of blood and ritual. It is that paradoxical commodity, a Hollywood movie that pretends to despise our postmodern consumer society. Scarface doesn’t traffic in that brand of nostalgia. It’s not a parody or a satire. It’s a fun-house mirror, turned toward the future that has become our present.”

“Fiction in Review”: new books by David Mitchell (Smith, Mitchell review), Lynne Tillman (Smith, Tillman review), and Ben Marcus (Smith, Marcus review) for The Yale Review.

The Collaborator and the Multitude,” an interview with Michael Hardt for minnesota review (2004). Co-authored with Enrico Minardi. “Collaboration is, in a sense, the perfectly appropriate method for writing about the multitude.”

Interview with Reynolds Price (1933-2011) for BOMB (2002). “Writing as a way to channel pain.”

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