Posts Tagged: mad men

A Funny Inevitability: In Conversation with Siel Ju

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Siel Ju discusses her debut novel-in-stories, Cake Time, the difference between our online selves and real-life selves, and who she hopes will read her work. ...more

Digging for Characters: A Conversation with Sonya Chung

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Sonya Chung discusses her latest novel The Loved Ones, the mental space required to wander around fictional worlds, and looking back at her childhood. ...more

Good Girls Revolt and Female-Focused Sex on TV

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Sexual politics run through the very veins of this show. They are its blood, and they know how to get the female viewer’s heart pumping. ...more

Market Researching My Desire

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I noted the weirdness, and then filed it away until a time I might really consider the implications of wanting to bury someone’s stockings. I was lost in metaphor, which meant I was lost in everything. ...more

Feeding Your Head: The History of LARB

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Hungry intellectuals are flocking to the Los Angeles Review of Books. Here is the humble story of how LARB came into being in April of 2011. Reader Matthew Weiner (of Mad Men fame) says:

It speaks to Los Angeles in that it’s a little bit renegade… It’s got a little bit of ‘f— you.’ It has the highest chance of any place that I read for me to discover something new.

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The Saturday Rumpus Review: Carol

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Carol is a powerful woman with enviable self-knowledge, effortlessly creating an erotic, sensual ideal of herself as a covert spectacle for queer midcentury women. ...more

Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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Caroline Smith writes about parenthood and television in the Saturday Essay. The wildly popular AMC drama Mad Men provides a thematic frame for Smith’s own foray into marriage and motherhood. She even teaches a college writing course on the television show, allowing her to analyze the “messiness” of Mad Men and real life.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: On Madness and Mad Men

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In my eight years as a Mad Men fan, the series has repeatedly prompted me to reflect on parenting. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Lidia Yuknavitch

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Lidia Yuknavitch discusses her latest book, The Small Backs of Children, war, art, the chaos of experience, and that photograph of the vulture stalking the dying child in the Sudan that won the Pulitzer Prize. ...more

Patriarchy’s Slow Unwinding

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For the New York Times Magazine, A.O. Scott argues about the “slow unwinding” of patriarchy in American culture, drawing on modern television, history, and literature. In part responding to Ruth Graham’s essay at Slate, in which she urges against adults reading young adult fiction, Scott offers a different perspective:

Instead, notwithstanding a few outliers like Henry James and Edith Wharton, we have a literature of boys’ adventures and female sentimentality.

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Nothing New Under the Billboard

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With its clean, careful shots and enigmatic plot resolutions, Mad Men tends to inhabit a liminal narrative space, as if the same rules of decorum that govern its romanticized 60s society extend their authority to the show’s refined formal characteristics. This aversion to definitive conclusion is no accident: writing for Salon, Rebecca Makkai examines how the series recalls John Cheever’s iconic short fiction, which creator Matthew Weiner has listed as an influence:

I imagined all his stories to involve a businessman who got off the evening train drunk, stood in his yard peering in through the windows of his own house, and had some sort of sad revelation…[but instead,] in each story, a small world of alienation and humor and despair, a meditation on family or work, the city or the suburbs, travel or stasis, success or failure.

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