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Daniel Green
Interests: Good writing, creative and critical.
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The Idea of Literature is a collection of essays originating mostly on The Reading Experience, but also including revised and expanded essays published elsewhere. Free pdf version can be found here. Kindle version and paperback can be found here. From the Introduction: "Most of the selections that follow originated on... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2019 at The Reading Experience
My review of Remedia, the new novel by Michael Joyce, is now available at Full Stop: Michael Joyce is not only the author of what many consider the foundational work of hypertext fiction, afternoon, a love story(1987), but also probably the most important theoretician of hypertext as a literary medium... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2019 at The Reading Experience
Some passages in my original draft of the essay on James Purdy's poetry recently published by the Poetry Foundation had to be excised for reasons of space and relevance. But I still rather like much of what I said in them, so I am reprinting them here rather than discard... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2019 at The Reading Experience
My essay on the poetry of James Purdy has now been published by the Poetry Foundation: Purdy wrote lyric poems throughout most of his career, although he confessed that he might have stopped had the composer Richard Hundley not set one of the poems (“Come Ready and See Me”) to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at The Reading Experience
"In the Author’s Note, Michael cites the final word of Updike’s Rabbit quartet — 'Enough' — to assert an end to his own series. The 'Keever Books' don’t much resemble Updike’s famous novels, other than through the most obvious parallels: four novels about a basketball player after his heyday. LeClair... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2019 at The Reading Experience
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 essays in the first section, there is a recognizable affinity among numerous current writers for what I am here calling "fabulation." Otherwise it seems... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at Innovative Women Writers
My review of David Hayden's Darker with the Lights on has been published at the literary Journal Splice: Darker With the Lights On evokes a filtering and transmutation of everyday reality, but these stories are at once both more purposeful and less insistently symbolic than dreams, more cogent than the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2019 at The Reading Experience
My review of Shelley Jackson's Riddance, at Full Stop: If Riddance is truly a book about the paranormal (“necrophysics,” as Sybil Joines would have it), we could say it implicitly portrays the way language is haunted by its own ghostly origins and the now-spectral uses to which it has been... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2019 at The Reading Experience
In an interview with Lit Hub (for its "Secrets of the Book Critics" series), Madeleine Schwartz asserts that Broadly speaking, the internet has been terrible for book criticism and book critics. Book reviews have been shuttered and magazines have folded. It’s nearly impossible to make a living writing criticism, which... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at The Reading Experience
In her response to listening to a reading given by John Dos Passos at the 92nd Street Y in 1965, Lydia Davis reflects on her own reading of Dos Passos as a formative experience: The Dos Passos book, whichever one it was, was also the first, or early, in the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2019 at The Reading Experience
As they should, the essays collected in The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online (edited by Houman Barekat, David Winters, and Robert Barry, OR Books, 2017) offer a mixed assessment of the literary culture the Internet has both transformed and distorted. By now it is clear that online literary culture is... Continue reading
My essay on current conceptions of realism in American fiction, specifically focused on the fiction of Sam Pink, is now available at 3:AM Magazine: For the most part, “realism” in current discussions of fiction has become conflated with conventional narrative practice: “storytelling” employing the orthodox “elements” of fiction as developed... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2019 at The Reading Experience
My review of Slovenian writer Evald Flisar's A Swarm of Dust is now available at Full Stop: It would seem unambiguously desirable that more, rather than fewer, works of world literature be translated into English. But when the writer translated is largely unknown to most American readers and reviewers, and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2018 at The Reading Experience
Here is a roundup of the reviews and other literary criticism of mine that appeared in the past year: PUBLISHED ELSEWHERE "Criticism in Cyberspace" (Link) On The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online, Edited by Houman Barekat, Robert Barry, and David Winters "Language of the Spirit" (Link) On Mike McCormack's Solar... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2018 at The Reading Experience
"Among all of the adventurous writers whose fiction has sometimes been described — usually contemptuously — as a form of “game-playing,” the work of Harry Mathews perhaps most literally deserves such a characterization. However, in Mathews’s case, to say that his novels and short stories seem like games is not... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2018 at The Reading Experience
This is the second part of chapter 3, "Sorrentino the Metafictionist," from my book-in-progress tentatively entitled Gilbert Sorrentino: An Introduction. The first chapter, "Sorrentino the Poet," can be found here; chapter 2, "Sorrentino the Realist," here; the first part of chapter 3, here. 2) "Walking Around Inside": Mulligan Stew In... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2018 at The Reading Experience
Charles Baxter's stories, as collected in Gryphon, seem to me to epitomize an approach to fiction writing that has become the trademark approach in the era of the Creative Writing program and its "workshop" method of instruction. Whether Baxter has simply become the most consistent enabler of this approach, or... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Realisms
I think it is fair to say that, although particular books of his might receive a few less-than-effusive endorsements, Richard Russo is a highly regarded novelist among mainstream American book reviewers. Although Empire Falls seems to be the work that received the greatest praise, and remains a critical favorite, reviews... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Realisms
Readers of Kent Haruf’s previous books will surely know what to expect from his new novel, Benediction: a work of austere realism, probably weaving together several separate but related narratives, set in rural Holt county on the high plains of northeastern Colorado. They will expect the novel to be written... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Realisms
The two primary modes or tendencies in Richard Ford's fiction are juxtaposed most prominently in The Sportswriter and Rock Springs, published in 1986 and 1987, respectively. Rock Springs is a collection of short stories set in the Western United States, in and around Great Falls, Montana in particular. The stories... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Realisms
Lorrie Moore's first two books, the story collection Self-Help (1985) and the novel Anagrams (1986), introduced a writer possessing an appealing comic touch, lightly applied but not reducible to mere "humor," and a modest if still palpable impulse to formal experiment. Self-Help incorporated as a formal strategy the conventions of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Realisms
Denis Johnson’s previous novel, Nobody Move (2009), was a tepid, forgettable work of “noir” crime fiction. Even so, perhaps what made this novel so disappointing was not that it was formulaic or derivative, but that finally it failed to be as “noir” as Johnson’s own non-genre fiction, which habitually casts... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Realisms
I Forsaking Illusions Richard Powers clearly signaled in his auspicious first novel, Three Farmers On Their Way to a Dance(1985), that his fiction would not conform to the then-emerging conventions of literary minimalism or participate in the full-scale return to the values of traditional realism that would characterize much literary... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Realisms
Philip Roth has given the short novels Everyman, Indignation, The Humbling, and now Nemesis the collective designation "Nemeses: Short Novels." Regarding the four together at the least inevitably invites reflection both on the possible connections and correspondences among them and on their status as works of the "late" phase of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Realisms
Among those American writers who were originally identified as "minimalists," a group that would include Raymond Carver, Bobbie Ann Mason, Ann Beattie, and Tobias Wolff, Mary Robison may have been the most minimalist of them all--or, to use the word she has said she prefers to describe the narrative/expository strategy... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Realisms