In her review of Cynthia Ozick’s new essay collection, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays, Zoe Heller quotes Ozick quoting Lionel Trilling in reference to Jonathan Franzen’s commercial-literary ambition: “a writer must ‘direct his words to his spiritual ancestors, or to posterity, or even, if need be, to a coterie.’” Heller is interested in Ozick’s endurance, and her persistent delineation of fame and recognition....more
Posts Tagged: Zoe Heller
Writers Rivka Galchen and Zoë Heller, over at The New York Times, discuss the question that will never go away: can writing be taught? They raise valid points about whether teaching writing is fundamentally different from teaching something like science and the rigid way American high schools teach essay writing....more
I wonder if that is the case for many of us. Perhaps, in the widespread longing for likable characters, there is this: a desire, through fiction, for contact with what we’ve armored ourselves against in the rest of our lives, a desire to be reminded that it’s possible to open our eyes, to see, to recognize our solitude — and at the same time to not be entirely alone.
This week in New York The Rumpus throws an A Night Together with Sam Lipsyte, Michael Showalter, Lorelei Lee, Jeff Lewis, Jump-Off winners and more, Jamaica Kincaid and Rick Moody help collect Books for NY Schools, Richard Nash and Jim Hanas debate fiction and technology, Gary Shteyngart and Amy Sohn host a Shabbat dinner, Robert Coover reads, Etgar Keret talks to Ira Glass and Frederick Wiseman’s film Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind screens....more