Thursday
Jan202011

My Favorites' Favorites

Originally published on The Millions

Many of my favorite books – DraculaThe Rings of SaturnA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – came to me as assigned reading.  Even more than specific titles, I inherited my favorite authors from professors: Nicholson Baker, Harryette Mullen, Turgenev, George Saunders.

This literary bestowal carries on into adulthood as I seek my favorite authors’ favorite authors. At HTMLGIANT, Blake Butler started a broad compendium of David Foster Wallace’s favorite works, encompassing books he blurbed, books assigned on his syllabus, books mentioned in interviews and in passing. It is a nourishing list, a place to turn when I think about what I should read next.

But my road with the recommendations of my favorite authors has been unpaved and rocky.

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Thursday
Jan202011

Between Shakespeare and Richard Brodie

Originally published in The New Yinzer, Summer 2009

I. I AM SPEAKING LOUDLY.

I hold down the shift key briefly to capitalize the first letter of this sentence: I. A slight stretch of my pinky, and there it goes again: A. The shift key, as light as the other plastic keys on my slim laptop, glows with a certain irony. On typewriters, the shift key is heavy, a heft for our pinkies, it physically ‘shifts’ the typebar to make a different impression on the ribbon: A, a. The caps lock literally ‘locks’ the typebars into place, a physical manifestation: I AM SPEAKING LOUDLY. My caps lock key glows, a green dot.

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Thursday
Jan202011

A Modern Reader #1: Friending Dostoevsky

Originally published by The Rumpus

We all have reading habits. We read in bed, at the table, on the train. Perhaps you read standing up in your kitchen, waiting for your pasta water to boil. As modern readers, what we read and where we can read it constantly expands.

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