Jonathan Russell Clark

Jonathan Russell Clark is a literary critic and the author of the forthcoming Skateboard (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2022) as well as An Oasis of Horror in a Desert of Boredom (Fiction Advocate, 2018). His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Tin House, Vulture, Rolling Stone, the Atlantic, and numerous others.

Reviews

Good Neighbors (on Wolfram Eilenberger’s Time of the Magicians: Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented Philosophy, translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside, and Claire Messud’s Kant’s Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write: An Autobiography in Essays)

Wolfram Eilenberger’s Time of the Magicians features a library that seems like an academic’s version of Borges’s Babel or Zafron’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books. In the Warburg Library in Hamburg, philosopher Ernst Cassirer found his ideal domain. Although the collection contained “several tens of thousands of rare studies in intellectual and scientific history,” what made […]

Read More
Reviews

on Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age by Sara Wheeler

When characterizing the fiction of Ivan Turgenev in a review of Constance Garnett’s translation of The Two Friends and Other Stories for The Times Literary Supplement in December 1921, Virginia Woolf—as consummate a critic as she was a novelist—describes a scene in which people sit around “talking gently, sadly, charmingly,” but notes that Turgenev provides […]

Read More
Reviews

on The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes’s 1989 novel A History of the World in 10½ Chapters includes an essayistic meditation on love in which he brilliantly considers the meanings and ramifications of history and our tendency to turn life into a narrative: The history of the world? Just voices echoing in the dark; images that burn for a few […]

Read More