08-the-novel-a-biography-michael-schmidtThe Art of The Novel | The Millions
I am going to try to convince you that The Novel is one of the most important works of both literary history and criticism to be published in the last decade. The reason Schmidt’s book is so effective and important has to do with its approach, its scope, and its artistry, which all come together to produce a book of such varied usefulness, such compact wisdom, that it’ll take a lot more than a few reviews to fully understand its brilliant contribution to literary study.

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MurakamiColorless Tzukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage | The Rumpus
A novelist makes choices—each element of a given book (from the smallest detail to the most prominent theme) reflects those choices. Murakami, who is undoubtedly a great novelist, does not usually make decisions carelessly. Here, the brutality inflicted upon Shiro is meant merely to amplify the internal plight of Tsukuru. Shiro ends up not just a sexist, irresponsible depiction, but a lazy one, too.

16th_of_juneThe Art of Homage | The Millions
Homage is a way of acknowledging our forbearers, to celebrate where we came from by updating the past, calling back to it, poking fun at it, challenging it, embracing it, adoring it. Oates goes at it directly, Cunningham a little more abstractly, and Lang indirectly and directly. There is no right way to pay homage any more than there is a right way to love something.