On L.E. Sissman

The bard of Madison Ave. L.E. Sissman – poet, critic, advertising executive – had an “amiable, attentive intelligence,” according to John Updike. Sissman’s muse: the office…
The bard of Madison Ave. L.E. Sissman – poet, critic, advertising executive – had an “amiable, attentive intelligence,” according to John Updike. Sissman’s muse: the office… [More]

On Slavoj Žižek

Žižek ad nauseam. Same jokes, same provocations, an endless loop of “new” books: He is a philosophic iPod shuffle…
Žižek ad nauseam. Same jokes, same provocations, an endless loop of “new” books: He is a philosophic iPod shuffle… [More]

Stifled by Success

Frustration and desperation are the lot of most writers. Even the lucky ones endure lean years. But few things are so compromising as success…
Frustration and desperation are the lot of most writers. Even the lucky ones endure lean years. But few things are so compromising as success… [More]

In Defense of Difficulty

When did difficulty become suspect in American culture? The ideal of seriousness was never widely shared, but it used to be seen as worth striving for…
When did difficulty become suspect in American culture? The ideal of seriousness was never widely shared, but it used to be seen as worth striving for… [More]

No ‘Proper English’

Dear pedantic grammarians: Your rules are just stylistic conventions. We’ll split an infinitive or end a sentence with a preposition anytime we want to…
Dear pedantic grammarians: Your rules are just stylistic conventions. We’ll split an infinitive or end a sentence with a preposition anytime we want to… [More]

MFA Writing Programs

“For the most part, M.F.A. students who choose to write memoirs are narcissists using the genre as therapy.” But candor is no excuse for incompetence…
“For the most part, M.F.A. students who choose to write memoirs are narcissists using the genre as therapy.” But candor is no excuse for incompetence… [More]

Education

Todd Gitlin to trigger-warning advocates: Universities are not fallout shelters. You’re at college to be disturbed. Deal with it…
Todd Gitlin to trigger-warning advocates: Universities are not fallout shelters. You’re at college to be disturbed. Deal with it… [More]

Bob Hope

How did the man who invented the comedic monologue – who defined celebrity in the age of celebrity – disappear so effectively from American consciousness?…
How did the man who invented the comedic monologue – who defined celebrity in the age of celebrity – disappear so effectively from American consciousness?… [More]

New Atheists

If belief in God means nothing to you, why proselytize one way or another? John Gray on the strange nature of evangelical atheism…
If belief in God means nothing to you, why proselytize one way or another? John Gray on the strange nature of evangelical atheism… [More]

Cost of Paying Attention

Attention is a finite resource. Everywhere it is harvested by advertisers. Searching for silence amid the cacophony of commerce? Good luck with that…
Attention is a finite resource. Everywhere it is harvested by advertisers. Searching for silence amid the cacophony of commerce? Good luck with that… [More]