Posts Tagged: jonathon sturgeon

Pernicious Individualism

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If anything, Emerson’s transparent eyeball is now a webcam hacked by the NSA. Over at Lit Hub, Jonathon Sturgeon writes about the supposedly rampant and undying force of individualism in American writing—the “imperial self,” an all-encompassing and socially blind thing—from Emerson and Whitman to Safran Foer and Franzen.

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You’d Prefer Not To

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The Internet has been abuzz with grammatically incorrect chatter since the New York Times recently published an article heralding the end of the period. But Flavorwire’s Jonathon Sturgeon doesn’t expect that little dot to go anywhere anytime soon: Bilefsky’s piece — or any long piece without periods — is like a car without brakes. You […]

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Maybe-True, Half-Hearted Hemingway in Havana

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Papa: Hemingway in Cuba is a recently released film from director Bob Yari following the maybe-true misadventures of the late Hemingway and his years in Cuba, where he lived, drank, and complained after winning the Nobel Prize for fiction. A young author travels to Havana to learn from his literary idol and a tortured bro-mance […]

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Eating at the Table of Another

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The critic giveth and he taketh away. In his review of Better Living Through Criticism, Jonathon Sturgeon counters A.O. Scott’s aversion to the idea of the critic as parasite: Maybe the loneliness of the American critic stems from his obsession with freeing minds, which quickly become isolated monads.

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Imagine That

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Like every other year, in 2015 we wrestled with the knowledge of our constructed selves. But rather than eschew personhood as a postmodernist might, we considered just who we’ve been inventing: What do you write about when you no longer put stock in the idea—the narrative—that nature exists objectively and independently of our stories about […]

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The Joy of Knausgaard

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For Flavorwire, Jonathon Sturgeon works to define “contemporary” literature and wonders where Karl Knausgaard’s My Struggle fits into the mix. What he ultimately argues is that contemporary literature is often “project based,” and that Knausgaard’s self-exploratory novel is the most definitive example of this kind of work in recent times: Not only does the title My Struggle claim for Knausgaard the […]

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Factory Fiction

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For all our worrying about essay-writing robots, it’s easy to overlook the Fordist production models already in place in the publishing industry. Over at Flavorwire, Jonathon Sturgeon considers the implications of literature that is ghostwritten and consumer-driven: Under automation, fiction loses the power to alter what we think is possible. It becomes nothing but a […]

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Healing Words

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This past week has seen an outpouring of poetry responding to the disappointment, violence, and trauma spurred by the Ferguson decision. Over at Flavorwire, Jonathon Sturgeon challenges the notion that poetry written in response to political events is somehow less legitimate than art of any other kind: Over the years, I’ve heard countless complaints about […]

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The Battle Rages On

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At Flavorwire, Jonathan Sturgeon continues the “literary” and “genre” war, offering a new perspective grounded in the marketplace: So what’s really going on here? Well, it isn’t the genre of prose that has literary novelists anxious. It’s the market status of genre novels. Now that literary criticism has evaporated as a genre of writing, the […]

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Fail Worse

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If our current understanding of Beckett’s “fail better” command implies eventual success, what of failure whose endgame is really just failure? Over at Flavorwire, Jonathon Sturgeon makes a case for the value of failure itself (future success optional): When a friend shows you her rejection letter, especially one that details precisely why her manuscript was […]

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