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Daniel Green
Interests: Good writing, creative and critical.
Recent Activity
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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 3 days ago at The Reading Experience
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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{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
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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
Way back in 2005, I wrote a few short reviews for a now defunct publication called Playback St. Louis. I had thought these reviews were forever lost, but have now successfully retrieved them. Because I feel I owe it to posterity (someone's posterity, anyway), I am here posting two of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at The Reading Experience
RIP, Stephen Dixon. From my 2016 review of his Late Stories: Reviewers of Stephen Dixon’s fiction often take note of the author’s continuing lack of widespread recognition, despite the high esteem for his work expressed by many writers and critics. By now it is no doubt unlikely that Dixon’s work... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2019 at The Reading Experience
From my 2014 essay on Peter Handke: "For readers familiar with the controversy in which Handke was embroiled when he seemed to defend the government of Serbia as it was committing atrocities in Bosnia and Kosovo, [Repetition] might plausibly help to put Handke’s actions, which might otherwise seem inexplicable, in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2019 at The Reading Experience
"Why," asks James Draney at the beginning of his review of Fredric Jameson's latest book, Allegory and Ideology, "does Fredric Jameson’s interpretive method — his insistence that the political interpretation of texts constitutes the 'absolute horizon' of all meaning — still call for defense in today's academic scene?" I'm not... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2019 at The Reading Experience
At the Bookseller, Adam Blades, a "lecturer in Publishing," attempts to defend "celebrity tastemakers" (those with "book clubs") by making this claim about actual literary critics: On the contrary, literary critics have rarely been objective. From Edgar Allen [sic] Poe to Elizabeth Hardwick, all promote their own approach to book... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2019 at The Reading Experience
My review of Albert Rolls's The Demon in the Text can now be found at Review 31. From Rolls’s perspective on the way the ‘life’ inflects the work in Pynchon’s case, it would seem that Pynchon’s fiction is a near-reversal of TS Eliot’s dictum that a literary work is an... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2019 at The Reading Experience
My review of Jane Alison's book Meander, Spiral, Explode can now be found at Full Stop. The kind of formal experiment Alison is eager to encourage is pretty much encapsulated in the book’s title. Meander, spiral, and explosion are forms of spatial movement, although Alison also discusses additional such forms:... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2019 at The Reading Experience
(This essay was published a long time ago--as most of the references attest--in a now defunct online journal. Since as far as I can tell its archives no longer exist, I am re-posting the essay here. I mostly still agree with it.) Much has been written about the purported dominance... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2019 at The Reading Experience
(This essay was published in American Book Review in 2000, but has never been available online.) In his book In Plato’s Cave, Alvin Kernan describes a career crisis that he no doubt shared with many other literary scholars of his generation: The canon of great books, authors and their powerful... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2019 at The Reading Experience
(I recently rediscovered the following essay, written a number of years ago but no longer, as far as I can tell, available online. It still seems relevant, and thus I am reposting it here.) Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate is as thorough a refutation of the premises underlying radical social... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2019 at The Reading Experience