Manga inevitably seems a bit strange to American readers, even if they’ve read a lot of comics. Those hundreds of small colorful paperbacks stacked at your favorite big-box bookstore are the beneficiaries of more than half a century of evolution in Japan, where comics flourish as a popular medium.
Serious music fans fetishize moments of future-shock rupture—those moments of fruitful confusion and ecstatic release that attend the arrival of new movements and new sounds. Whether charting the erratic patterns of pop novelty or the ideological progress of the art-music impulse, a significant
The success of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is the latest sign of a fascination for all things Austen. Today’s Janeites devour everything from novels to blogs to cultural histories based on her work. But what did Austen herself read? Below are some of the best sellers that
It’s forty years this past weekend that the most famous murders in American history went down on Cielo Drive in Los Angeles. The Manson Family has been plumbed and probed inside out and upside down—there’s Joan Didion’s The White Album, Jerzy Kosinski’s Blind Date (Kosinski narrowly missed becoming
Much contemporary poetry gets written off as too “experimental”—perhaps because of how crazy the poems look on the page, because they’re full of fragmentary images and half-finished thoughts, because they’re slathered in irony, or because they take poetry itself as their subject. Yet many
College has proved so reliable a setting for fiction that it’s even laid claim to its own literary genre. But what happens after the campus novel graduates? The transition out of college is a much sadder, much less circumscribed, and, despite classic treatments by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mary
The narrator of my novel in progress has a storefront preacher mother and a family legacy of extremism that seem, the more she struggles against them, destined to determine her future. While her life goes in a very different direction from mine, I've taken quite a bit of material from my own experiences
Since coming together on private Listserv exchanges in 2001, the writers of the Flarf Collective have attracted critical attention—oh, and readers—more rapidly than is deemed seemly for contemporary poets. The group’s recent reading at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (alongside a
There are certain books that all young artists read. For example, the other night I met a young woman at a bar. She said she was a cartoonist, so I asked to see her studio. Going over the next night, I noticed on her shelves a book I cherished when I was eighteen: Salvador Dalí’s Diary of a Genius.
In Preston Sturges’s film Sullivan’s Travels (1941), convicts get a break from the woes of the Depression and chain-gang life at a screening of the Walt Disney cartoon “Playful Pluto.” Now, just in time for the current economic crisis, comes Disney’s first traditional animated feature in five