Reviews

on The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

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? . . .

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on Lighting the Shadow by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

on Lighting the Shadow by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

In Lighting the Shadow, Rachel Eliza Griffiths’ third collection, the poet sings a song of nonself. Varied sources—from news, visual art, poetry, and family—generate the current along which moves the speaker’s polymorphous permeable body electric, enacting her intention to “turn to every shadow I’ve ever been, stare at them until they form another / woman . . . .

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on Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

on Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

We are enamored with the new. We exalt the original, the innovative, the experimental. See the proliferation of lists declaring the literary world’s next protégés: Muzzle Magazine’s “30 under 30”; Buzzfeed’s “20 under 40 Debut Writers You Need to Be Reading”; the New Yorker’s “20 under 40.” There is an ethic of disposability built into this fetish: what is new cannot endure in newness. . . .

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on They and We Will Get into Trouble for This by Anna Moschovakis

on They and We Will Get into Trouble for This by Anna Moschovakis

Is it possible to know whether the work we do makes any difference or whether the tasks and actions with which we fill our hours are meaningful? At my job I frequently employ diagrams called logic models—tools that can be used to plan, design, and evaluate strategies and projects. Typically represented through a series of boxes and arrows, . . .

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The Bias: Toward Fashion

The Bias: Toward Fashion

Fashion changes, but style remains.
—Chanel

 

Of course, when we think of fashion we think of style. However, I am not sure, in spite of the recent efforts of museums and a handful of critics, how many of us—no matter how educated, . . .

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on Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón

on Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón

Ada Limón’s poetry recognizes the ways shifting landscapes throw order into chaos. In Bright Dead Things, her fourth collection, the mutable settings—from New York to Kentucky to California—serve to underscore the speaker’s turbulent feelings of loss. Limón’s speaker ties her self-conception to landscape. She says, “This land and I are rewilding” and “Now, . . .

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on The Quarry and The Birth-mark by Susan Howe

on The Quarry and The Birth-mark by Susan Howe

Susan Howe’s The Quarry includes ten previously uncollected essays, beginning with the most recently written “Vagrancies in the Park,” a gracious tribute to her favorite twentieth-century poet, Wallace Stevens. Covering diverse topics, The Quarry also includes a discussion of Hope Atherton’s captivity narrative and an extended contemplation of iconoclastic filmmaker Chris Marker’s documentaries, . . .

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on Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade

on Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade

In a telling scene from the opening story of Kirstin Valdez Quade’s Night at the Fiestas, a young woman corrects her aunt for calling her by her given name. “Norma,” the character until this moment known as Nemecia, says, “My name is Norma.” Nemecia is at the center of the story: a figure at once sensual and revolting. . . .

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