Posts Tagged: Kenyon Review

Cosmically Illegal

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At the Kenyon Review blog, Brian Michael Murphy celebrates the sheer density of reference and intricate structuring of rap lyrics revealed by a computer program, The Raplyzer, and its Rhyme Factor Scale. Murphy dissects the lyric genius of Wu-Tang’s Inspectah Deck and others:

I remember the feeling from when I was 16, the sense that they were doing cosmically illegal things with language, crunching it down into a density that tested physic’s laws, with lines impossibly packed, like collapsed stars, greedily bending light toward their hidden centers.

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George Saunders and Donald Trump

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George Saunders! America’s greatest satirist! The heir to Mark Twain’s estate! And I thought, Oh, what I wouldn’t give to hear Saunders weigh in on Trump. And then I remembered that, in a way, he already had.

At the Kenyon Review blog, Cody Walker talks about how George Saunders‘s story “The Red Bow” can be used as a critique of Donald Trump’s mad descent into racist demagoguery.

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Honesty is Ugly

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I used to work more deliberately at resolving contradictions in my work. Now I tend to see contradictions as evidence that I’ve gotten close to saying something true. When we’re honest, we’re conflicted.

The Kenyon Review interviews Garret Keizer about how his writing has evolved over the years.

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What You Can Read at the Guantánamo Bay Detainee Library

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Prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay have access to 18,000 books in 18 different languages, including Arabic translations of King Lear, Anna Karenina, and Stephen King thrillers. But books deemed critical of the US government, including Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Noam Chomsky’s Interventions, and various John Grisham novels, are banned.

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A Dog Named Human

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For me, the perfect metaphor for rethinking our relationship to other species comes in the form of a dog named “Human,”owned and “curated” by French artist Pierre Huyghe, in his retrospective currently on view at LACMA. Ironically enough, such a simple act of naming invites deep rethinking of our own human position in the world.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Every good story is rooted in conflict, and most of us learned the different types of conflict in our high school literature classes like clockwork, year in and year out: man v. man, man v. self, man v. society, man v.

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The Wide Open (And Increasingly Traveled) Road

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For The Kenyon Review “Credo” series, Megan Mayhew Bergman offers some thoughts on “socially-conscious writing”:

I’m not sure if it was becoming a mother, or publishing my first book—because these events happened in essentially the same year—but when it comes to my writing career, all I can tell myself is: make it matter.

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Is Michael Chabon Giving Grownups Too Much Credit?

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In a recent article in the New York Review of Books, Michael Chabon laments the loss of a sense of adventure in childhood. “If children are not permitted—not taught—to be adventurers and explorers as children,” he said, “What will become of the world of adventure, of stories, of literature itself?”

But Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky at The Kenyon Review thinks Chabon might be giving the grown-ups a little too much credit:

“Chabon … may be right that all children are instinctively adventurers, and he’s certainly right that limiting their exploration of the world in the name of safety threatens their creative imagination. 

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