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Daniel Green
Interests: Good writing, creative and critical.
Recent Activity
My essay review of the fiction of Steve Tomasula at The Kenyon Review: Tomasula has cited the influence on his work of such writers as Raymond Federman, Gilbert Sorrentino, and William Gass, all of whom similarly unsettle our usual way of reading—on pages with blocks of text, read sequentially from... Continue reading
David Bordwell: Remember Web 1.0, when blogs were really logs? You know, diary-like accounts of events befalling the writer? The sense that every instant of one’s life needs preserving and broadcasting got absorbed into Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, I suppose. Today blogs are more likely to feature essayistic thinking.... Continue reading
An Introduction to Literary Minimalism: I refute the equation that ‘less’ does indeed mean ‘less’ by suggesting ways in which less becomes more in the collections of minimalist short stories of these three writers. It is my contention that ‘more’ means a richness of effect, an interpretative polyvalency, an interactive... Continue reading
Justin St. Clair on two new books about Thomas Pynchon: IN MANY RESPECTS, literary criticism is inherently revisionist, so it should come as little surprise that the grand old eremite of American letters should himself be undergoing something of a late-career reevaluation, even before he shoves off, gently or otherwise,... Continue reading
Stephen Mitchelmore, "'Foreign to the resources of literature'": The shock is a minor one and this is not a post to complain of its omission or to speculate on the competence of the judges [of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize] and instead to wonder if the failure of such novels... Continue reading
Sarah Gerard's Binary Star is not a formally conventional novel, although it is an intensely realistic one. Conventional storytelling and realism are frequently conflated, as if the latter requires the former to manifest itself or the former naturally produces the latter. But neither is the case. Plot-driven fiction, to the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2015 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
There is no inherent reason why what is called "academic criticism" cannot be of interest to non-academic readers. Certainly the formalist approach of New Criticism, which offers the reader a more focused perspective on the way a work of literature produces its effects, as well as an older-style historical criticism,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
My review of Tom McCarthy's Satin Island is now available at Full Stop: The most obvious explanation for the way McCarthy’s books have been received, at least in Great Britain, is that British fiction largely skipped over the phase in 20th century fiction generally labeled “postmodern,” instead renewing after World... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
Laura Miller on Miranda July's The First Bad Man: July’s previous book, No One Belongs Here More Than You, was a story collection, and the short form, with its brief glimpse into a character’s life, is better suited to her aesthetic. It’s true that if you dig deeply enough, you... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2015 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
Patricia Albers on Van Gogh, by Julian Bell: This book is to comprehensive biography as memoir is to autobiography. In fact, “Van Gogh” is dwarfed by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith’s 900-plus-page “Van Gogh: The Life” (2011). Leaving sleuthing and psychological heavy lifting to them, Bell interprets; the result... Continue reading
Rohan Maitzen, herself a long-time proponent and distinguished practitioner of "academic blogging," recently wondered whether the "hope for the beneficent effects of blogging" expressed by many of the earliest champions of academic litblogging (including, it must be said, me) "fizzled out, or [was]. . .(even to a minor extent) realized."... Continue reading
Marisela Navarro on Sarah Gerard's Binary Star: For the majority of the novel, sentences stand alone. A sentence is a whole paragraph. I am seeing the words as much as I am reading them. I stop in the space to take them in. The experience of reading is dynamic. I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2015 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
"Not Merely Academic: Creative Writing and Literary Study." A primer on saving literature. Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
Charles Finch on Rachel Cusk's Outline: Instead, the fashion has turned toward granular introverts like Karl Ove Knausgaard, Ben Lerner and Teju Cole, who write barely novels, all in an ambiguous first-person indistinguishable from the author's own voice. These books are pointed, alert, not very funny. Their subject is the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
For all of the ambivalence it seems to provoke in many readers and critics, the American fiction of the 1960s and 1970s (with scattered precursors in the 1950s and and a few lingering appearances in the 1980s) that probably will now permanently be called "postmodern" continues to make its influence... Continue reading
A review of Laura Ellen Joyce's The Luminol Reels begins: The stories in Laura Ellen Joyce’s The Luminol Reels read like a series of inverse flashbulbs. There’s encroaching dark matter on every page, clouding the reader’s headspace with snapshots of autopsy, incest, coat hangers, and blood splatters. I have no... Continue reading
Robert Archambeau on the defining feature of modern poetry: Après les Surrealistes, le déluge: the decades between the First Surrealist Manifesto and the present brim over with poetic language and images that cultivate the indefinite, that seek by their strange beauty to refute Dante’s assertion that the poet ought to... Continue reading
Kevin Breathnach on Murakami's Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: [Tsuskuru's] story is an allegory of the journey made by the prose in which it is told. It is not a happy story. Eugene McCarraher on Terry Eagleton's Culture and the Death of God: In the life and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
Re the previous post, here's a more lengthy discussion of Galdos, via Tom (Amateur Reader) at Wuthering Expectations: I was surprised at the earthiness of Fortunata and Jacinta, at its vulgarity. Victorian English (and American, and for that matter Russian) novels distort my view of the literary world. The French,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
I have read Fortunata y Jacinta, and it is indeed very Dickensian, and very good. Interested readers would probably be better advised to try it rather than the newly translated Tristana: Benito Pérez Galdós was born in 1843 and he spent most of his life in Madrid, where he wrote... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
Bradley Gorski on Andrei Bitov's The Symmetry Teacher: If the premise sounds like John Barth circa 1982, it’s no accident. The borrowed frame both signals a debt to the West and opens the floodgates to Western images. Bitov’s book becomes something of a paean to global postmodernism, an unabashed imitation... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
I have always found it surprising how many believers won't accept this: And we should remember that the burden of proof is not on the disbeliever to demonstrate there are no gods, but on believers to demonstrate that there are. Believers are not justified in affirming their belief on the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
Discussing the peer review process involved in the publication of his upcoming book on Charles Ives, composer/musicologist Kyle Gann notes the pressure on an academic author to quote other scholars liberally or be accused of “insufficient engagement with work in the field.” Gann objects that "apparently if I mention a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
Scott Esposito on Patrick Modiano: Part of the allure of an unsolvable mystery is the belief that we will somehow master it; “Suspended Sentences” hums with that impossibility. Modiano’s unconventional accounts of vanished hours show how the urge to solve a long-lost crime, or to reclaim forgotten memories, ultimately leads... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
Laura Frost, The Problem With Pleasure: Modernism and Its Discontents (Open Letters Monthly) Peter Handke, Storm Still (Full Stop) Kyle Minor, Praying Drunk (Full Stop) Siri Hustvedt, The Blazing World (Full Stop) Davis Schneiderman, [SIC] (American Book Review) Ted Underwood, Why Literary Periods Mattered (The Quarterly Conversation) Gabriel Blackwell, The... Continue reading