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Daniel Green
Interests: Good writing, creative and critical.
Recent Activity
"Not Merely Academic: Creative Writing and Literary Study." A primer on saving literature. Continue reading
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
I certainly agree that reviewers of translations "must have knowledge of the original language and culture of the work in order to be able to really evaluate the translation within their review" (Reading in Translation). I would go farther and say that a critic needs to have such knowledge if... Continue reading
David Abbott on two books by David Albahari: Since his move to Canada, now with the added layer of immigrant experience, now as an emigrant from his homeland, Albahari has continued to question the exact meaning of writing, to explore the possibilities and limitations of narration and of identity. Gabriel... Continue reading
Sam Sacks on James Wood: These biases can be exasperating, in part because they make Wood predictable. You sometimes feel you need only read a book’s dust-jacket synopsis to anticipate his glowering judgment or satisfied approbation. More troubling is the frequent tone of moral hectoring. Like all born-agains, Wood cannot... Continue reading
While going through my archives in order to export them to this new address, I came across this orphaned post, which I apparently wrote in a fit of disgust with Nobel Prize speculation but wisely decided not to publish: The 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Moe... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
New address for The Reading Experience: Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2014 at The Reading Experience
The Laughing Monsters is not an altogether tedious read. Its origins in Johnson’s own reporting on the situation in Africa gives its rendering of character and setting a tacit authenticity. The plot has its moments of high tension, and the narration by Nair succeeds in immersing us in the story.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
Garrett Caples, "Surrealism Is a Romantic Critique of the Avant-Garde from Within": The assertion that surrealism “eschews the traditional criteria…by which one judges a piece of writing” is certainly a strawman argument in 2014, inasmuch as the proposed criteria (“taste, beauty, structure, depth, symbolism”) haven’t been live considerations in any... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2014 at Daniel Green's The Reading Experience
I fear that the house style of Htmlgiant, which billed itself as the literary magazine of the future, is becoming something like the norm. If that site (now apparently defunct) is a model for the future, contributors are going to have to become better at reviewing, or literature is in a lot of trouble.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2014 on Something Wrong at DANIEL GREEN
All future posts will now appear here. Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2013 at thereadingexperience
My review of Pynchon's Bleeding Edge has now been posted at Full Stop: Bleeding Edge is a book worth reading simply because it’s by Thomas Pynchon, although anyone contemplating it as an introduction to Pynchon’s work should instead go immediately to V or Gravity’s Rainbow or even The Crying of Lot 49, which, although now apparently somewhat disdained by Pynchon, has long served as a more accessibly condensed example of Pynchon’s literary strategies and worldview. Ultimately, however, Bleeding Edge is not so much “minor” Pynchon as it is a kind of synthetic replica of a Thomas Pynchon novel, all the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at thereadingexperience
In a review of the novel in Review 31, Helen McClory makes a curious criticism of Helen DeWitt's 2011 novel, Lightning Rods: What it lacks is interiority. The narration, because it is so slick and over-worked, has the feel of a voice-over; it's all surface, even when we are ostensibly presented with access to the minds of the characters. This creates a sensation of hollowness. . . The total misperception of DeWitt's purpose in Lightning Rods is extraordinary. As almost all other reviewers of this novel observed, it is most certainly a novel of "interiority," although it is a special... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2013 at thereadingexperience
My review of Those Whom I Would Like to Meet Again by the Lithuanian writer Giedra Radvilaviciute is now available in the Fall issue of The Quarterly Conversation: What is most significant in the publisher’s description of Radvilaviciute’s writing is that it identifies the contents of this book as “stories.” Although these “stories” are further characterized as “combining fiction, memoir, and essay,” this attempted clarification is more confusing that illuminating—to what extent can fiction, memoir, and essay really be “combined”?—and finally doesn’t adequately prepare the reader for the true indeterminacy of genre these stories achieve. Clearly enough the intention is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2013 at thereadingexperience