When we say it’s “too soon,” what we really mean is that we’re not yet ready to confront these ideas and feelings in ourselves. In his review of In the Shadow of the Towers, a new anthology of stories about the events of 9/11, Joshua Rothman contemplates what happens when it’s not too soon anymore.
For the New Yorker, Joshua Rothman explores why certain writers reach “long-term literary endurance” and others fall into obscurity. What he discovers is that long-term fame often has to do with “regular reinterpretation,” which requires writers to be multi-dimensional and adaptable to various social contexts.
Using Deidre Shauna Lynch’s Loving Literature: A Cultural History as a starting point, the New Yorker’s Joshua Rothman traces our romantic love affair with books, identifying the point where reading novels stopped being mainly an intellectual activity and transformed into an emotional one.
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 […]
In the New Yorker, Joshua Rothman talks about Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism and how genre can be a useful tool in examining fiction: Frye’s way of thinking is especially valuable today because it recognizes that the clash of genre values is fundamental to the novelistic experience. That’s how we ought to be thinking about […]
At the end of last month, Nicholas Kristof published a piece in the New York Times calling for academics to come out from their insular bubble and participate in the mainstream conversation—especially with respect to writing. Joshua Rothman responded in the New Yorker that academic writing is only as “knotty and strange, remote and insular, technical and specialized, forbidding and clannish” […]