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Daniel Green
Interests: Good writing, creative and critical.
Recent Activity
I am starting a Substack newsletter that will be a supplement to The Reading Experience and will focus on relatively brief (500 words or so) reviews of new works of adventurous fiction from mostly independent presses. It will appear monthly and probably include reviews of 4-6 books (depending on what... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2020 at The Reading Experience
Here is a round-up of the reviews and essays that I published/posted in 2020. At Full Stop, my review of The Unauthorized Biography of Ezra Maas: Postmodernism on Steroids For readers only nominally familiar with postmodern fiction, Daniel James’s The Unauthorized Biography of Ezra Mass might indeed seem offbeat, even... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2020 at The Reading Experience
If any of the writers Jess Row cites in White Flights: Race, Fiction and the American Imagination for their enactments of "whiteness" comes close to being judged as explicitly racist (performatively in his practice, not his personal conduct), it is the editor/teacher/writer Gordon Lish. In his efforts as editor and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2020 at The Reading Experience
It could be argued that the strongest rival to autofiction as the most noteworthy tendency in current American fiction is its effective opposite: non-genre fiction that distorts reality through fantasy devices that create fabulous worlds--"fabulous" as in suggestive of fables. Some of this fiction is indeed reminiscent of fables and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2020 at The Reading Experience
My review of Hugh Fulham-McQuillan's Notes on Jackson and his Dead is now available at Splice: Ultimately, Notes on Jackson and His Dead doesn’t quite fit readily into prevailing dichotomous categories — conventional vs. experimental, realist vs. fabulist — but this is a strength, as the book pushes against convention... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2020 at The Reading Experience
Preface The following essays do not make a sustained argument on behalf of the efficacy of an approach to literature and literary criticism I am calling “literary pragmatism.” They do attempt to show how such an approach can be grounded in the aesthetic philosophy propounded by John Dewey and can... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2020 at The Reading Experience
In her book, Dewey for Artists (University of Chicago Press, 2018) Mary Jane Jacob admirably attempts to explicate the philosophy of John Dewey--not just Art as Experience--as a useful guide for artists (and also curators and art teachers) in considering the implications of their own practices, as well as the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2020 at The Reading Experience
Sebastian Smee is quite right that the recent cancellation of a Philip Guston exhibition is an act of abject cowardice on the part of the four museum directors responsible for it. Apparently, a cultural institution's "responsibility to meet the very real urgencies of the moment" (as the museum directors put... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2020 at The Reading Experience
My review of Blake Butler's Alice Knott is now available at Full Stop: . . .But it is here, at the intersection of Butler’s style and the heterodox psychological realism he invokes, where the most severe problem with both The 300,000,000 and Alice Knott. Butler’s treatment so strenuously seeks to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2020 at The Reading Experience
Lincoln Michel makes some very good points in his recent essay about the limitations of our loose way of referring to "realism" in fiction, usually when thinking about the alternatives to this practice, in particular the genres of science fiction and fantasy. Indeed, Michel's argument is framed specifically as an... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2020 at The Reading Experience
Whether or not readers in fact find Andrew Farkas's Big Red Herring (Kernpunkt Press) to be entertaining, there would seem to be little question that it is a novel intended to entertain. Its plot, if such a pastiche of the very concept of pastiche could be said to have one,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2020 at The Reading Experience
Since the mid-1990s, after the waning of postmodernism, as well as the minimalist neo-realism that succeeded it, no comparable practice has really emerged that aims to revise and reconfigure wholesale the formal and stylistic moves with which writers have been working. There has certainly been increasing emphasis on diversity and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2020 at The Reading Experience
It seems safe to say that more writers have access to more book publishers than at any other time in literary history. While "mainstream" publishing is still dominated by only a few big publishers, copious numbers of independent presses make available the work of writers who in previous eras likely... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2020 at The Reading Experience
You won’t learn a lot about communism from Vivian Gornick’s The Romance of American Communism, but you will learn a good deal about the emotional and psychological needs that in the first half of the twentieth century brought many people to join the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA)... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2020 at The Reading Experience
The description on the back cover of Lee Klein's Neutral Evil))) (Sagging Meniscus) explicitly labels it an "autofiction." Whether the publisher intends by this to directly associate this novel (or perhaps, more accurately, novella) with the mode of fiction most prominently represented by, say, Rachel Cusk and Karl Ove Knausgard,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2020 at The Reading Experience
(All three chapters as single pdf available here.) Chapter 1: Sorrentino the Poet There is no question that Gilbert Sorrentino considered himself first of all to be a poet. He began his writing career not just writing but also reviewing and publishing poetry, most prominently in the little magazines he... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2020 at The Reading Experience
A brief synopsis of S.D. Chrostowska's The Eyelid (Coach House Books) certainly makes it sound like a work of science fiction or fantasy, or perhaps a futuristic dystopia: a man given to idleness and daydreaming, recently unemployed and occupied mostly with sleeping, meets a man who claims to be the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2020 at The Reading Experience
My essay on Jack Cox's Dodge Rose (a "cold take" on a less recently published work) is now available at Splice: Finally it seems to me that Dodge Rose provokes reflection on two different conceptions of “experimental fiction”. One focuses primarily on the subversion of familiar form for its own... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2020 at The Reading Experience
Guillermo Stitch is not the sort of writer who is going to get a lot of mainstream press coverage--the very title of his novel Lake of Urine (Sagging Meniscus Press) seems an immediate thumb to the nose where the mainstream is concerned--but such discussions of his work that can be... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2020 at The Reading Experience
(Pdf version) Although the term “postmodern” is still used often enough by critics as a convenient label for certain works of fiction that are considered out of the “mainstream” of current literary fiction, and descriptions of new books ladled with adjectives such as “unconventional,” “original,” or “innovative” are quite common,... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2020 at The Reading Experience
My review of Lance Olsen's My Red Heaven, at Heavy Feathers Review: Regardless of the label we might want to assign it, My Red Heaven fulfills the promise of experimental fiction: it challenges complacent reading habits at the same time it also offers to renew the conceptual resources upon which... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2020 at The Reading Experience
My essay on the fiction of Michael Martone is now available at the Cleveland Review of Books. Martone’s characters take up the kind of ordinary, recognizable activities—setting up the searchlight displays that announce the new fall Chevrolets have arrived or observing a school carnival, with its obligatory fish ponds and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2020 at The Reading Experience
{Essays on the use and misuse of literature in academe} CONTENTS Inventing Literature Performing Literature Reading Literature Theorizing Literature Historicizing Literature Relinquishing Literature Reclaiming Literature? At School A Period of Transition The Organized Efforts of the Program Abandoning the Ruins "Only if one accepts that literature and the academy are... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2020 at TRE Press
My review of Laszlo Krasznakorkai's Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming at Splice: The quartet of novels that now collectively comprise what Krasznahorkai designates as “my one book” certainly do not project a sunny view either of contemporary Hungary or of humankind in general. Baron Wenckheim’s homecoming to a Hungary that has exchanged... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2019 at The Reading Experience
Essays on contemporary American realist fiction. Radical Realists Sam Pink Stephen Dixon Nicholson Baker Ottessa Moshfegh Rion Amilcar Scott Russell Banks Philip Roth Regressive Realists Richard Powers Denis Johnson Kent Haruf Richard Ford Lorrie Moore Richard Russo Charles Baxter "The essays included here neither build a theoretical argument on behalf... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2019 at TRE Press