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Daniel Green
Interests: Good writing, creative and critical.
Recent Activity
One of the freedoms granted to the literary critic during the earliest days of "literary blogging" (before it was caught up in the general migration of book commentary to the commercial internet) was the freedom to ignore all of the currently "hot" titles in favor of less heralded books by... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Critic's Progress: Readings
I have released a new issue of my substack reviews newsletter, under a new title, Unbeaten Paths. In this issue I review Begat Who Begat Who Begat, by Marcus Pactor, Mannequin and Wife and Tales the Devil Told Me, by Jen Fawkes, and Grimmish, by Michael Winkler. Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2022 at The Reading Experience
.pdf version University creative writing programs have proven to be a conservative force in literary culture, for reasons that probably could not have been avoided. Once these programs reached such a level of ubiquity that virtually all aspiring writers enrolled in writing workshops, the most ambitious pursuing an MFA degree... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2022 at The Reading Experience
I have an essay on the experimental fiction of William Melvin Kelley (especially Dunfords Travels Everywheres) in the new issue of Denver Quarterly. A link to the essay can also be found here. No doubt the most pressing questions concerning the fiction of William Melvin Kelley are not about its... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2022 at The Reading Experience
My essay on the fiction of David Ohle is now available at Big Other: Readers encountering David Ohle’s work for the first time through his most recent novel, The Death of a Character (2021), will indeed find the depiction promised in its title, but those familiar with Ohle’s previous books,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2022 at The Reading Experience
My review of Dennis Cooper's I Wished is now available at Full Stop: Cooper is no doubt one of the most prominent (or notorious) and influential writers of “transgressive” fiction, fiction that deliberately repudiates decorum and restraint in the treatment of subject in fiction. Much transgressive fiction seems to delight... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2022 at The Reading Experience
I have most recently been writing reviews and essays focusing on less well-known or neglected experimental writers--Gil Orlovitz, Alta Ifland, Elisabeth Sheffield, Thalia Field. I also have an essay on the African-American experimental writer, William Melvin Kelley, about to appear and am wrapping up a piece on David Ohle. Suffice... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2022 at The Reading Experience
My essay at The Review of Uncontemporary Fiction on the forgotten poet and experimental novelist Gil Orlovitz: To even the most well-informed readers of fiction and poetry who reached their age of literary maturity after, say, 1970, Gil Orlovitz is no doubt a mostly obscure, if not totally unknown figure.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2021 at The Reading Experience
From my review of Brian Evenson's The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell, now available at Full Stop: . . .At its best, Evenson’s fiction reminds us that our purchase on “the real” is fragile (if not delusory) and that our belief that we are in control of the course of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2021 at The Reading Experience
Although we are perhaps invited to regard as the novel's protagonist the first character introduced to us in Alta Ifland's The Wife Who Wasn't--Sammy, a Santa Barbara widower whose decision to import a mail-order bride from Moldova does indirectly set off the chain of events the novel chronicles--the character soon... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2021 at The Reading Experience
It seems I wrote quite a bit on experimental fiction over the past year. It's all collected together here. Includes discussions of Gabriel Blackwell, Elisabeth Sheffield, Mauro Javier Cardenas and more. Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2021 at The Reading Experience
Since the election in 2016, and only more and more profoundly as the Trump years progressed, I have come to feel alienated from my rural Missouri roots along the rim of the Ozarks. Although I have not visited there during this time (both of my parents are dead, and I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2021 at The Reading Experience
Experimental fiction (or poetry) ought to be predictable only in being unpredictable. Most of Thalia Field’s books have indeed been characterized by their aesthetic ingenuity and variety. She is, in fact a writer about whom it is justified to say that her work so blurs the distinction between forms and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2021 at The Reading Experience
Anyone looking over my curriculum vitae will see that, while there are a fair number of items listed in the "Publications" section (currently around 140 or so), all but one of them are essays, articles, or reviews, leaving only Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism (published by Cow Eye... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2021 at The Reading Experience
I have sometimes considered writing "personal" criticism--the sort of criticism that embeds discussion of a book or writer in subjective circumstances (the year of reading Whitman!) or connects the work to one's own "life experiences." However, I have always hesitated after reflecting on how little I usually admire such criticism... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2021 at The Reading Experience
My review of Peter Dimock's Daybook from Sheep Meadow is now available at Full Stop: It really is hard to imagine a novel more devoted to a polemical, political purpose than Daybook from Sheep Meadow (except perhaps for [Dimock's previous novels] A Short History for Leaving the Family and George... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2021 at The Reading Experience
My review of Mauro Javier Cardenas's Aphasia has been published in a special issue of American Book Review, on "Serious Fiction": . . .If writers such as Marquez and Bernhard are among the writers who first challenged not just conventional narrative form or the protocols of realism but the structural... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2021 at The Reading Experience
Issue three of Long Story Short is now available. Includes reviews of: Hashtag Good Guy With a Gun (Sagging Meniscus Press), by Jeff Chon Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino (Graywolf Press), by Julian Herbert Thick Skin (Kernpunkt Press), by N/A Oparah Wiki of Infinite Sorrows (Kernpunkt Press), by... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2021 at The Reading Experience
My review of Echo Tree: The Collected Short Fiction of Henry Dumas is now available at Full Stop: . . .Some stories do not conform easily to a perception of Dumas as either a fabulist or a realist, although these are the twin poles between which the fictions in Echo... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2021 at The Reading Experience
Literary Darwinism Britt Peterson's Chronicle of Higher Education article on the champions of "literary Darwinism" portrays these "scientific" literary scholars as threatening to overturn the currently entrenched academic approaches associated with Critical Theory and Cultural Studies. But at the level of its basic assumptions about literature--about why we study literature... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2021 at Critical Commentary
In his essay "Creative Writing and Its Discontents" (The Writer’s Chronicle, March/April 2000), D. W. Fenza defends university creative writing programs against what he considers the distressingly widespread assumptions that they contribute to a kind of "dumbing down" of literary culture and that they lack the rigor necessary for them... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2021 at Critical Commentary
As a younger man, my overriding aspiration in life was to become a Professor of English. Lest this seem an even more feeble ambition than in fact it actually was, I must qualify its expression by adding that, of course, I understood the job of the English professor to involve... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2021 at Critical Commentary
Since courses in "contemporary literature" became respectable additions to the university curriculum, the corresponding scholarly books on the subject have assumed a few recognizable forms, each of which have inevitable limitations for such books' survival as the kind of long-term contribution to "knowledge" academic scholarship is expected to provide. In... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2021 at Critical Commentary
In his memoir Keeping Literary Company, Jerome Klinkowitz, who became not long after the events described one of the best-known advocates of “contemporary” fiction, describes his graduate school experience: At school [Marquette University] I was making my way dutifully through seminars on Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton, with other courses on... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2021 at Critical Commentary
Joseph North’s Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History is a book with a provocative premise addressing an important subject that ultimately does justice to neither. North contends that academic literary study has settled into a stagnant and unavailing practice that aligns it entirely with “scholarship’]” at the expense of “criticism.”... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2021 at Critical Commentary