Posts Tagged ‘American Literature’

Emily St. John Mandel receives a tepid college try from the New York Times

So a writer, the creme of the byproduct of your civilization, has garnered a prime review at nytimes.com -> here

I cannot begin to moan and wail over such an unexciting ouevre -> here

If you are at all tangentially interfered with by themillions.com then please don’t bother, however if your senses have revolted from the pitter-patter of these tiny imprints I say, go on!

The fate of this volume will be the scourge of the unchosen, those MFA’s left in its wake. If we listen closely we hear a woman who has written a thing and been gladhanded most ungallantly. However the thing is, from the review directly, not exactly worthy of an eternal flame. We read that it starts with a charge and sputters over time. Ostensibly from an idea not a set piece. Cringing I read the words on the screen thinking how much a scandal a review can be that is truly mild. It almost pains ones efforts at life to believe in a peerage of colleagues treated so. How do these people partake in this production and analysis if the end result pardons her? My weary reader, ask not and want not, these are the things that must push my pen to react. How hard must we yearn and yodel for a solid work that plods and plots itself accordingly?  The meta of now is only a puddle, a puddle which seeks no greater body, that dries up and is restored to the heavens only to fall again and again with each week of this publication derelict of a sense of greater acts of creation. For when one has a vocation, we only injure ourselves when we inure against something of better wort.


For the lest to see.

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Where a review is held up to the light for translucence, opacity, or transparency..

The death of Elmore Leonard had the Times Literary Supplement combing their archives for any evidence of his existence.  They came up with a slight compendium of allusive articles to Mr. Leonard.

Here is the listing with compulsory hyperlinks:



Here is the review proper:


Besides a gush of worship for Raymond Chandler in the first half of the review, the critic sort of skims over the catalogue of works the TLS had ignored for the prior x years of his career. The reviewer makes it clear that Chandler was in Candyland and that Leonard resides in the slums of Atlantic City-esque holes. Apart from that I was never really impelled toward a Leonard work and this mishmash of a review doesn’t compel one to the task either.



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we use the magazine to pump the book and vice versa


In the newest New Yorker we have rediscovered the ‘tack’ of John O’Hara, who happens to have the highest short story output for the magazine, in order to hype the re-release of his Depression-era novel from Penguin Classics. A grand waste of time? Yes, but only if you’re familiar with the author. This placement, it cannot be a ‘new thing’, is so J’en sais pas I have indeed vomited in my mouth once again. Though forgive me for ennui does certain things to a 32-year old man. In conclusion, simply, blah.


Evan Kerry

Aug. 2013

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No I have not read Infinite Jest or any thing else from David Foster Wallace except his Tennis Article that is so lauded. I barely even finished it though, more like breezed through it, if you will allow such disgrace. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnpCIOb-2Wc  So upon receiving the The New Yorker this week I promptly digested it from the view of the table of contents and came across the piece of Fiction by David Foster Wallace. Wow is all I can say. I am not impressed one bit. This man was a writing machine though. Have you held up his novels to the light? You can barely see through them. I mean, I should say, I can see through them.

This man embarked upon a short career and chalked up a lot of words. From the beginnings of this fiction piece his writing falls apart. Describing some gift he received, the narrator deigns to imbue the reader with the meaning behind certain things. Whoopdeedo. The sense I get from teh writing is that the author, had I that fleeting chance to sit and chat, is a much, much more intelligent being than I could ever be. The author has taken this opportunity (the writing piece) to show me how intelligent he can possibly be. It is just that the writing is flat, insipid, and boring. Well that’s Post-modernism for you, one could say. You don’t get it would be the sonorous approval from the Academy. Well that’s just a crappy, over-hyped fad I could say, like for instance bell-bottoms or the flappers. Ever keenly remembered for how outlandish and stupid they were and for promulgating themselves to the unwitting.

I also harbor suspicions that Wallace was like this all the time, in his writing I am certain. I have yet to see any substantive video of the Man or Writing Machine? You decide.


Michael E. K. McCullough

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"He travels the fastest who travels alone"


This quote sums up the book Martin Eden, for the most part anyways. Martin is ill, with love that is and his class-consciousness isn’t really helping his malady. Martin is an ambitious sailor who has a penchant/knack for writing. It is only at the end of the book that he can finally see that he has achieved what he intended to do but by then he has lost Ms. Morse and is not getting her back. So what does our hero do? He kills himself by jumping from the porthole of a ship he has taken passage on.

This book had a tremendous effect on me. As a fellow writer and as a human. I was filled with doubt in college about certain things, far from home and wondering what this person in the mirror was all about. I read this book and the loathing and self-doubt, I can honestly say, only increased. Am I angry at this book?  Heck no! I am glad that it showed me the depths of despair that one can attain. Martin Eden also helped me through the lack of self-confidence in my writing that I had built up over the years. If that sailor could do it, than this guy can do it. You kin’ do it.

The overt struggle between the self and the society it belongs to, that runs through the novel, gets a little drab by the end. But there is always McTeague if you are interested in that sort of thing.

Michael E. K. McCullough


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The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;

It rains, and the wind is never weary;

The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,

But at every bust the dead leaves fall,

And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;

It rains, and the wind is never weary;

My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,

But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,

And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;

Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;

Thy fate is the common fate of all,

Into each life some rain must fall,

Some days must be dark and dreary.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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