History for Sale: On Paige Williams’s “The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy”

Paleontologists excavate fossils in a systematic, methodical fashion, carefully recording the stratigraphy, the context, and the spatial data that surrounds them, but this important information is stripped away when fossils are prospected and commercially sold. The Tarbosaurus incident illustrated exactly what paleontologists had argued for decades — that the commercialization of fossils creates an incentive

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The Difference Between Wrong and Hard: Elizabeth Little Interviews Lou Berney

Shortly after I threw out the book I was working on, he informed me he was radically reworking his. Publishable, even! Do you think you might ever come back to it, with fresh eyes, and say, Huh, this might actually be salvageable/pretty good?  I just went back and looked at the junked manuscript for the

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The Intense Atmospheres of Language: Cristina Rivera Garza’s “The Taiga Syndrome”

Her work is thus concerned with two notions of contemporaneity: one engaged in reading the radical limits of literary writing and literary aesthetics of our time, and the other in understanding the effect of the present, widely defined, in the materiality of literary writing and publishing. Unfortunately, the English translation of the book, published in

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It Me

In reading a good book, I’ll often find a personality trait I recognize, an illuminating situation, or an idea about the world that helps me understand myself or someone else in a new way. in the United Kingdom) is what we get by largely suspending judgment about the test’s origins and aims, by asking how

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More than Son of “Jesus’ Son”: On Nico Walker’s “Cherry”

We didn’t even hear it. “The rigs in the cupboard are all blood-used and crooked, like instruments of torture,” writes Walker, introducing the matter-of-fact tone and incisive point of view with which he will chronicle the narrative’s large and small horrors, as well as its fleeting moments of beauty. And they killed a lot of

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Delete Your Account Now: A Conversation with Jaron Lanier

And I think that was one of the most dreadful decisions in the history of financial governance, because, unfortunately, it set the pattern for other companies that went public later, like Twitter. The network effects and lock-in have to do with what you call natural monopolies that arise in some situations. There have been examples,

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Does Capitalism Make Good Compost?: “Familiar Things,” Hwang Sok-yong’s Novel of Waste and Reclamation

The swirl and the pace, the chaos and the motion of the vast city have left no shrine to his memory. It simply represents the logical arrangement of a new social organism operating within its specific spatial, temporal, and material parameters. Despite the filth and grime to which they have been relegated, they build a

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Translation Without Theory

Beyond the potentially nativist implications of translations that are meant to advance their target language at the expense of their sources, this standard is troubling because it is unevenly applied. Skeptical as it may be of translation theory as a guide for practice, Sympathy for the Traitor nevertheless boldly if naïvely stakes its own theoretical

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“I Wanted It to Be a Comedy”: On “The Saintliness of Margery Kempe”

Don’t they mean anything to you?” John pleads when she leaves. ¤ Photos by Carol Rosegg. When she describes visions in which she gives service to the Holy Family including setting chairs, opening doors, and putting heaven-sent flowers into vases, a vicar describes them as “too homely” to really be “divine.” Attempting to dissuade her

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Drugs ’R’ Us: Opioid Markets After the Jobs Disappear

She points out that the marketing tactics of Purdue were evident much earlier in those parts of the country where opioid overdoses were already increasing. That drug-dealing is financially more attractive than a minimum-wage job has long been self-evident when it comes to, say, Baltimore or north Philadelphia. Even Macy has a hard time grasping

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Going for Gold: The Work and Career of Brian Jordan Alvarez

Life is a riddle, and even the all-knowing internet isn’t offering answers. As someone long interested in DIY media-making, particularly that which tells “alternative” stories, I have been tracking Alvarez’s ascent, from his production of numerous short comic sketches, to his web series, and now to his mainstream breakthrough — which coincides with his release

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The Apprentice in Theory: Fan, Student, Star

Right-wing news outlets may be getting drunk on schadenfreude as they crow about Title IX being turned against a “feminist scholar,” but Ronell is, first and foremost, a Theory star. She laid claim to an expressive, edgy, subcultural, extra-institutional personal style. The style of the Reitman-Ronell correspondence can be called queer, campy, or subcultural, but

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LARB Radio Hour: Seth Greenland’s New 19th Century Novel

Tom and Laurie praise while they ponder the pressures of producing a narrative that captures the spirit of the times. LARB Radio Hour: Seth Greenland’s New 19th Century Novel By LARB AV –  October 5, 2018 It’s the LARB Radio Reunion Show, as the original triumvirate of hosts — Seth Greenland, Laurie Winer, and Tom Lutz

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Young, Restless, Gifted, and Black: Exploring the Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry with Imani Perry

I think partially it is this sense that he decided to devote his life to ensure that her work got the stage that it deserved. We did a panel together at the Schomburg [Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem] in the spring that was really wonderful. At the same time in her work,

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