Since I last blogged here, a lot of new writing by me has appeared online.
I’ve written a number of posts related to this past summer’s Big Read, #OccupyGaddis. Here’s the complete lineup (which repeat some I listed below) in chronological order:
- “#OccupyGaddis” (June 8, 2012)
- “The Failure of William Gaddis” (June 15, 2012)
- “#OccupyGaddis began as a hashtag” (June 23, 2012; round-up post)
- “Isn’t It Ironic?” (June 29, 2012)
- “Still More #OccupyGaddis” (July 9, 2012; round-up post)
- “The Playful Destruction of J R” (July 17, 2012).
- “Speed, Systems, and Shame” (August 28, 2012; round-up posting)
- “#OccupyGaddis Ends” (September 22, 2012)
There are also some great posts on the LARB blog by Sonia Johnson (here, here, and here) and Joseph Tabbi (here, here, and here). #OccupyGaddis was, on the whole, a tremendous experience. If you haven’t yet, read J R.
I’ve also been pretty busy writing reviews over the last few months, most of them at LARB.
- “Comics in the Expanded Field: Harkham’s Most Ambitious Anthology Yet,” a review of Sammy Harkham’s Kramers Ergot 8.
- “Relatable Transitional Objects,” a review of Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?
- “‘We’d Hate to Lose You’: On the Biography of David Foster Wallace,” a review of D.T. Max’s Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace.
- “Too Big to Succeed: On William Gaddis’s J R” a review of William Gaddis’s J R, my formal follow-up to #OccupyGaddis.
- “Barbarians at the Wormhole: On Anthony Burgess,” a review of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange and The Wanting Seed. This essay was also picked up on Salon as “When sci-fi went mainstream.”
3. Other Blog Posts
Over at Stanford’s Arcade, I’ve posted a follow-up reflection on John Thompson’s great sociological study of the publishing industry, Merchants of Culture. It’s called “Another Publishing Field is Possible,” and starts this way:
“In order to transform publishing into a less crisis-bound, short-term-oriented system, we must end capitalism,” according to Andrew Goldstone’s – and my – friend, Colin Gillis, a member of the staff collective at the radical co-op, Rainbow Bookstore, located in Madison, WI. Ending capitalism to fix publishing: this is a tall order indeed, but the decisiveness of Colin’s claim gets us thinking in the right direction. For as I suggested in a previous Arcade post, the problems that plague trade publishing are, by John Thompson’s fascinating sociological account in Merchants of Culture, larger than any individual editor, imprint, or company. Many people of good faith – with excellent intentions and impeccable taste – work in the field, but sort-termism, the increasing emphasis on frontlists at the expense of backlists, the escalating allocation of marketing resources to unproven Big Books over myriad worthy Medium-Sized and Small Books by established authors: the forces compelling these changes are now built into the very fabric of how the Big Six do business.
You can read the rest here.