labyrinth-wallBorges is Still Dead. (Or is He? And Which Borges?) 
Literary Hub

On the 30th Anniversary of Borges’s death. Maybe my favorite essay I’ve published yet.

“The Other” and “August 25, 1983” are twin stories sharing a mirror: a young man fears the unknown future, while an old man accepts the unchangeable past. (In fact many have dismissed Borges’s later work as “geriatrica” too full of nostalgia.) But as I read Borges’s Selected Non-Fictions, his essays and reviews I considered taking him at his word: maybe there are two Borges in the world, existing at the same time. One is the fiction writer we know, the lover of paradox, the trickster, the forger, the artist who describes fantastical events with straight-faced authority, using the syntax and tone of academia; and then there is this other Borges, the critic, who writes reasonably and clearly, companionably and insightfully, about high-brow and esoteric subjects, whose aim is elucidation rather than bewilderment. As I moved through each review and essay of Selected Non-Fictions, I felt a similar shock that the young Borges did upon seeing his own name on the register: this couldn’t possibly be the same Borges, could it?

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y450-293In Praise of the New Modernists |
Literary Hub

More recently—say, in the last 20 years or so—numerous so-called postmodern novels have contained this distinctly non-postmodern quality—not that the characters feel so much as the reader. The cumulative effect isn’t necessarily a fully fleshed-out character but a fully emotional experience. Think of Jonathan Safran Foer’s strong sentiments in the face of the Holocaust and 9/11; think of the alligator-wrestling family at the heart of Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!; think of the way Ali Smith works her linguistic magic in order to convey the complexities of love and relationships; or the heart-breaking wallop of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary; think of Reif Larsen’s I am Radar, of Zadie Smith’s NW, of Téa Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife. Can these books truly be considered postmodern when the most prevalent aspect is emotion rather than thought?

510nWWEaoqL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Mark Z. Danielewski Profile | Literary Hub
I interviewed and profiled Mark Z. Danielewski for Literary Hub. He’s a favorite of mine and a brilliant writer. We talked about literature, intertextuality, and his newest work, The Familiar: Vol 1, the first of 27 (!). And he asks an important question: “Do we strip away every-thing that we don’t like so we can find a song we like or do we change the way we listen?” Check it out here!