Monthly Archives: June 2014

Making the Familiar Strange: Is This the Key to Artistic Nirvana…?

…when damn near everything presents itself as familiar — it’s not a surprise that some of today’s most ambitious art is going about trying to make the familiar strange. In so doing, in re-imagining what human life might truly be like over there across … Continue reading

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Dave Davies’ Kink: Rock Star Same as He Ever Was…

“There is part of that little boy that has remained with me…. He’s always there to remind me of the endless possibilities that exist in the world, all that life has to offer….” – Dave Davies I bought Dave Davies’ … Continue reading

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Hugh Howey’s Wool: Utopia for the lovers of Dystopia…

Wool is a smart, interesting take on the dystopian novel. It’s also kind of frustrating in that “wait for the next book to find out” way…. My local library, a vibrant place of reading, thinking and culture in my community, which I … Continue reading

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Why the Fascination with Sci-Fi and Fantasy Dystopias and Apocalypses…?

Is the explanation for the current deluge of dystopian and apocalyptic books as simple as Millienial anxiety? Maybe. Maybe not…. (XPOST: Scholars and Rogues) In one of my typical “here’s what I’m writing for S&R this time” email conversations with “Chief Scrogue-in-Charge … Continue reading

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Gatsby IS Great…

Despite occasional detractors, The Great Gatsby remains a gold standard for American fiction… Having read John Edward Williams’ magnificent novel Stoner a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that one reviewer referred to the novel as the “anti Gatsby.” That got me to do a little looking … Continue reading

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Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys: is it the Tale – or the Teller?

Gaiman’s work owes something to Vonnegut, something to Douglas Adams, something to Sir James Fraser, and probably something to Hitchcock – and Monty Python… I offer the following quote from a Wall Street Journal piece by Lev Grossman I cited last fall in an … Continue reading

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John Edward Williams’ Stoner and the Glory of Realism

John Edward William’s “Stoner” is proof that there’s life in tradition and the individual talent yet… Modernism was a funny period. It fostered experimentation in every genre of the arts (about which I have written before) and brought us numerous “isms” – Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism. … Continue reading

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