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Daniel Green
Interests: Good writing, creative and critical.
Recent Activity
(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
In "Book Blogs as Tastemakers," an article by Beth Driscoll published in the Australian academic journal Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, the author discusses two "networks" of literary blogs, Romance fiction blogs and what she calls "highbrow literary blogs," to determine their influence "as shared expressions of readers’aesthetic... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at The Reading Experience
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A study of the novels of the American writer James Purdy. Includes discussions of most of the novels, although some emphasis is given to the paradigm-establishing works of the 1960s and 1970s. Excerpts: "Although in some ways Purdy was altogether attuned to the literary spirit of his time, especially in... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at TRE Press
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A collection of essays considering the current state of general-interest book reviewing. Topics include: negative vs. positive reviewing, gatekeeping, writers reviewing writers, and criticism in cyberspace, among others. From "Book Reviewing in America": "Critical judgment can never be avoided entirely; it always lies behind discussions of aesthetic merit. But in... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at TRE Press
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In the early to mid 1960s, an iconoclastic mode of American fiction that came to be called "black humor" presaged the larger movement succeeding it that eventually came to be known as postmodernism. This book looks at the essential features of black humor fiction, with essays on all the major... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at TRE Press
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Essays on the first-generation American postmodernists: John Barth, William Gass, Robert Coover, Raymond Federman, Gilbert Sorrentino, Donald Barthelme, John Hawkes, Ishmael Reed, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Joseph McElroy, Harry Mathews. From the opening essay, "Postmodern Fiction in the New Millennium": "Although the term has come to identify a general attitude... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at TRE Press
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A selection of essays on current women writers of innovative fiction whose work has clearly expanded the range of practices associated with "experimental" writing. "I offer here no overarching theory about the nature or direction of innovative writing by women writers, although as I do note in several of the... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at TRE Press
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This book surveys formally and stylistically adventurous fiction by American writers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. From "Definitions: "For those who think that every new work of fiction is implicitly experimental, necessarily one-of-a-kind, the term seems redundant. For writers who want their work to be assessed, at... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2019 at TRE Press
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What do we talk about when we talk about literature? This book explores that question by, first of all, looking "inside the text" at the dynamics of reading and the tangible effects of writing. It then moves "outside the text" to consider the relevance of social context and culture to... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2019 at TRE Press
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Welcome to TRE Press, a publishing extension of The Reading Experience. Here you will find ebook and paperback volumes collecting critical essays that have appeared separately both on the blog and in numerous other publications. They represent my ongoing interests in postwar/contemporary American fiction, in the principles of literary criticism,... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2019 at TRE Press