Summary Book Review Conversations with Jonathan Lethem by Jaime Clarke:
Download or read book Conversations with Jonathan Lethem written by Jaime Clarke and published by Univ. Press of Mississippi. This book was released on 2011-06-01 with total page 224 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Conversations with Jonathan Lethem collects fourteen interviews, conducted over a decade and a half, with the Brooklyn-born author of such novels as Girl in Landscape, Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude, Chronic City, and many others. Winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, Lethem (b. 1964) covers a wide range of subjects, from what it means to incorporate genre into literature, to the impact of the death of his mother on his life and work, to his being a permanent “sophomore on leave” from Bennington College, as well as his flight from Brooklyn to California and its lasting effect on his fiction. Lethem also reveals the many literary and pop culture influences that have informed his writing life. Readers will find Lethem as charming and generous and intelligent as his work. His examination of what it means to live a creative life will reverberate and enlighten scholars and fans alike. His thoughts on science fiction, intellectual property, literary realism, genre, movies, and rock ’n’ roll are articulated with elán throughout the collection, as are his comments on his own development as a craftsman.
Summary Book Review Conversations with Jonathan Lethem by Jaime Clarke:
Download or read book Conversations with Jonathan Lethem written by Jaime Clarke and published by Univ. Press of Mississippi. This book was released on 2011-06-01 with total page 224 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Conversations with Jonathan Lethem collects fourteen interviews, conducted over a decade and a half, with the Brooklyn-born author of such novels as Girl in Landscape, Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude, Chronic City, and many others. Winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award, Lethem (b. 1964) covers a wide range of subjects, from what it means to incorporate genre into literature, to the impact of the death of his mother on his life and work, to his being a permanent "sophomore on leave" from Bennington College, as well as his flight from Brooklyn to California and its lasting effect on his fiction. Lethem also reveals the many literary and pop culture influences that have informed his writing life. Readers will find Lethem as charming and generous and intelligent as his work. His examination of what it means to live a creative life will reverberate and enlighten scholars and fans alike. His thoughts on science fiction, intellectual property, literary realism, genre, movies, and rock 'n' roll are articulated with elán throughout the collection, as are his comments on his own development as a craftsman.
Summary Book Review Jonathan Lethem and the Galaxy of Writing by Joseph Brooker:
Download or read book Jonathan Lethem and the Galaxy of Writing written by Joseph Brooker and published by Bloomsbury Publishing. This book was released on 2019-12-12 with total page 224 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem is one of the most celebrated and significant American writers working today. This new scholarly study draws on a deep knowledge of all Lethem's work to explore the range of his writing, from his award-winning fiction to his work in comics and criticism. Reading Lethem in relation to five themes crucial to his work, Joseph Brooker considers influence and intertextuality; the role of genres such as crime, science fiction and the Western; the imaginative production of worlds; superheroes and comic book traditions; and the representation of New York City. Close readings of Lethem's fiction are contextualized by reference to broader conceptual and comparative frames, as well as to Lethem's own voluminous non-fictional writing and his adaptation of precursors from Franz Kafka to Raymond Chandler. Rich in critical insight, Jonathan Lethem and the Galaxy of Writing demonstrates how an understanding of this author illuminates contemporary literature and culture at large.
Summary Book Review Understanding Jonathan Lethem by Matthew Luter:
Download or read book Understanding Jonathan Lethem written by Matthew Luter and published by Univ of South Carolina Press. This book was released on 2015-07-15 with total page 144 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Understanding Jonathan Lethem is a study of the novels, short fiction, and nonfiction on a wide range of subjects in the arts by American novelist Jonathan Lethem, who is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for Motherless Brooklyn, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and the Locus Award for Best First Novel for Gun, with Occasional Music. Matthew Luter explores the key contemporaries of and influences on Lethem, who is the Roy Edward Disney Professor of Creative Writing at Pomona College. Luter begins this volume by explaining how Lethem’s innovative and provocative essay on creative appropriation “The Ecstasy of Influence” differs from other writing about influence, suggesting an artistic mode that celebrates thoughtful borrowing. Readings of Lethem’s three major novels follow: taken together, Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude, and Chronic City present a novelist coming to terms with the joys and downsides of artistic influence. Motherless Brooklyn pays tribute to and subverts traditional hardboiled detective novels as Lethem plays with the conventions of a favorite (and influential) genre. Fortress dwells obsessively on appreciation and criticism of influential art, as Lethem’s main character spends a lifetime contemplating the complexities of the art he loves, interrogating his own reactions to it, and thinking through the political implications of the ways he has been influenced by that which he consumes. Chronic City depicts the cost of fandom and the dangers of giving over too much of oneself to the art that one loves, dramatized via a character brought nearly to ruin not by the demands of artistic creation, but by obsessive cultural consumption. Borrowing openly and promiscuously from earlier traditions both high and low (experimental fiction, comic books, art film, detective novels), Lethem displays a career-long interest in questioning what literary originality might mean in a postmodern age. Some suggest that such borrowings indicate a literary well that has run dry, making writers such as Lethem mere patchwork artists. Luter argues instead that Lethem’s propensity for wearing his influences and obsessions on his sleeve encourages new thought about originality itself. Out with “it’s all been done” and in with “look at all that’s been done, and all that we can still do with it!”
Summary Book Review The Contemporaneity of Modernism by Michael D'Arcy:
Download or read book The Contemporaneity of Modernism written by Michael D'Arcy and published by Routledge. This book was released on 2015-10-23 with total page 248 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: At a juncture in which art and culture are saturated with the forces of commodification, this book argues that problems, forms, and positions that defined modernism are crucially relevant to the condition of contemporary art and culture. The volume is attuned to the central concerns of recent scholarship on modernism and contemporary culture: the problems of aesthetic autonomy and the specific role of art in preserving a critical standpoint for cultural production; the relationship between politics and the category of the aesthetic; the problems of temporality and contemporaneity; literary transnationalism; and the questions of medium and medium specificity. Ranging across art forms, mediums, disciplines, and geographical locations, essays address the foundational questions that fuse modernism and the contemporary moment: What is art? What is the relation between art and the economy? How do art and technology interpenetrate and transform each other? What is modernism’s logic of time and contemporaneity, and how might it speak to the problem of thinking genuine novelty, or the possibility of an alternative to the current stage of neo-liberal capitalism? What is modernism, and what is its history? The book is thus committed to revising our understanding of what modernism was in its earlier instantiations, and in accounting for the current moment, addressing the problems raised by modernism's afterlives and reverberations in the 20th and 21st centuries. The volume includes essays that consider literature, sociology, philosophy, visual art, music, architecture, digital culture, television, and other artistic media. It synthesizes the most recent thinking on modernism and contemporary culture and presents a compelling case for what happens to literature, art, and culture in the wake of the exhaustion of postmodernism. This book will be of interest to those studying literature, visual art, media studies, architecture, literary theory, modernism, and twentieth-century and contemporary culture more generally.
Summary Book Review Postmodernism in Pieces by Matthew Mullins:
Download or read book Postmodernism in Pieces written by Matthew Mullins and published by Oxford University Press. This book was released on 2016-07-01 with total page 224 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Postmodernism in Pieces performs a postmortem on what is perhaps the most contested paradigm in literary studies. In the wake of a critical consensus proclaiming its death, Matthew Mullins breaks postmodernism down into its most fundamental orthodoxies and reassembles it piece by piece in light of recent theoretical developments in Actor-Network-Theory, object-oriented philosophy, new materialism, and posthumanism. In the last two decades postmodernism has collapsed under the weight of the very phenomena it set out to deconstruct: language, whiteness, masculinity, class, the academy. Recasting these categories as social constructs has done little to alleviate their material effects. Through detailed analyses of everyday objects in novels by Leslie Marmon Silko, Toni Morrison, Jonathan Lethem, John Barth, David Foster Wallace, Don DeLillo, and Julia Alvarez, Mullins argues that what makes fiction postmodern is its refusal to accept "social" explanations for problems facing a given culture, and its tendency instead to examine everyday things and people as constituent pieces of larger networks. The result is a new story of postmodernism, one that reimagines postmodernism as a starting point for a new mode of literary history rather than a finish line for modernity.
Summary Book Review Reality Simulation in Science Fiction Literature, Film and Television by Heather Duerre Humann:
Download or read book Reality Simulation in Science Fiction Literature, Film and Television written by Heather Duerre Humann and published by McFarland. This book was released on 2019-08-13 with total page 204 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: In recent decades, science fiction in both print and visual media has produced an outpouring of story lines that feature forms of simulated reality. These depictions appear with such frequency that fictional portrayals of simulated worlds have become a popular sci-fi trope--one that prompts timeless questions about the nature of reality while also tapping into contemporary debates about emerging technologies. In combination with tech-driven tensions, this study shows that our collective sense of living in politically uncertain times also propels the popularity of these story lines. Because of the kinds of questions they raise and the cultural anxieties they provoke, these fictional representations provide a window into contemporary culture and demonstrate how we are reassessing our own reality.
Summary Book Review Representing 9/11 by Paul Petrovic:
Download or read book Representing 9/11 written by Paul Petrovic and published by Rowman & Littlefield. This book was released on 2015-06-17 with total page 251 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: As the horrific events of September 11, 2001, slip deeper into the past, the significance of 9/11 remains a global cultural touchstone. Initially, filmmakers, writers, and other artists wrangled with its meaning, often relying on fantastical, ethnic, or exceptionalist themes to address the psychic dread of the terrorist attacks. Over time, however, more nuanced and socio-historical perspectives about 9/11 and its impact on America and the world have emerged. In Representing 9/11: Trauma, Ideology, and Nationalism in Literature, Film, and Television, prominent authors from a variety of disciplines demonstrate how emergent American and international texts expand upon and complicate the initial post-9/11 canon. Editor Paul Petrovic has assembled a collection of essays that broadens our understanding of how popular culture has addressed 9/11, particularly as it has evolved over time. Contributors bring fresh readings to popular novels, such as Jonathan Lethem’s Chronic City and Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom; films like Zero Dark Thirty and This Is the End; and television shows such as 24 and Homeland. Showcasing a diverse range of viewpoints, essays in this collection assess, among other topics, how African American identity is challenged by post-9/11 allegories; how superhero films foretell the inevitability of city-wide destruction by terrorists; and how shows like Breaking Bad problematize ideas of liberalism and masculinity. Though primarily aimed at scholars, Representing 9/11 seeks to engage readers interested in how various forms of media have interpreted the events and aftermath of the terrorist attacks in 2001.
Summary Book Review The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction by Daniel O'Gorman:
Download or read book The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction written by Daniel O'Gorman and published by Routledge. This book was released on 2019-01-15 with total page 462 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: The study of contemporary fiction is a fascinating yet challenging one. Contemporary fiction has immediate relevance to popular culture, the news, scholarly organizations, and education – where it is found on the syllabus in schools and universities – but it also offers challenges. What is ‘contemporary’? How do we track cultural shifts and changes? The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction takes on this challenge, mapping key literary trends from the year 2000 onwards, as the landscape of our century continues to take shape around us. A significant and central intervention into contemporary literature, this Companion offers essential coverage of writers who have risen to prominence since then, such as Hari Kunzru, Jennifer Egan, David Mitchell, Jonathan Lethem, Ali Smith, A. L. Kennedy, Hilary Mantel, Marilynne Robinson, and Colson Whitehead. Thirty-eight essays by leading and emerging international scholars cover topics such as: • Identity, including race, sexuality, class, and religion in the twenty-first century; • The impact of technology, terrorism, activism, and the global economy on the modern world and modern literature; • The form and format of twenty-first century literary fiction, including analysis of established genres such as the pastoral, graphic novels, and comedic writing, and how these have been adapted in recent years. Accessible to experts, students, and general readers, The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction provides a map of the critical issues central to the discipline, as well as uncovering new perspectives and new directions for the development of the field. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of contemporary literature.
Summary Book Review Weird Westerns by Kerry Kinney Fine:
Download or read book Weird Westerns written by Kerry Kinney Fine and published by U of Nebraska Press. This book was released on 2020-08 with total page 462 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Weird Westerns is an exploration of the hybrid western genre--an increasingly popular and visible form that mixes western themes, iconography, settings, and conventions with elements drawn from other genres, such as science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Despite frequent declarations of the western's death, the genre is now defined in part by its zombie-like ability to survive in American popular culture in weird, reanimated, and reassembled forms. The essays in Weird Westerns analyze a wide range of texts, including those by Native American authors Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfeet) and William Sanders (Cherokee); the cult television series Firefly and The Walking Dead; the mainstream feature films Suicide Squad and Django Unchained; the avant-garde and bizarre fiction of Joe R. Lansdale; the tabletop roleplaying game Deadlands: The Weird West; and the comic book series Wynonna Earp. The essays explore how these weird westerns challenge conventional representations by destabilizing or subverting the centrality of the heterosexual, white, male hero but also often surprisingly reinforce existing paradigms in their inability to imagine an existence outside of colonial frameworks.
Summary Book Review David Foster Wallace's Balancing Books by Jeffrey Severs:
Download or read book David Foster Wallace's Balancing Books written by Jeffrey Severs and published by Columbia University Press. This book was released on 2017-01-03 with total page 304 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: What do we value? Why do we value it? And in a neoliberal age, can morality ever displace money as the primary means of defining value? These are the questions that drove David Foster Wallace, a writer widely credited with changing the face of contemporary fiction and moving it beyond an emotionless postmodern irony. Jeffrey Severs argues in David Foster Wallace's Balancing Books that Wallace was also deeply engaged with the social, political, and economic issues of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A rebellious economic thinker, Wallace satirized the deforming effects of money, questioned the logic of the monetary system, and saw the world through the lens of value's many hidden and untapped meanings. In original readings of all of Wallace's fiction, from The Broom of the System and Infinite Jest to his story collections and The Pale King, Severs reveals Wallace to be a thoroughly political writer whose works provide an often surreal history of financial crises and economic policies. As Severs demonstrates, the concept of value occupied the intersection of Wallace's major interests: economics, work, metaphysics, mathematics, and morality. Severs ranges from the Great Depression and the New Deal to the realms of finance, insurance, and taxation to detail Wallace's quest for balance and grace in a world of excess and entropy. Wallace showed characters struggling to place two feet on the ground and restlessly sought to "balance the books" of a chaotic culture. Explaining why Wallace's work has galvanized a new phase in contemporary global literature, Severs draws connections to key Wallace forerunners Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, and William Gaddis, as well as his successors—including Dave Eggers, Teddy Wayne, Jonathan Lethem, and Zadie Smith—interpreting Wallace's legacy in terms of finance, the gift, and office life.
Summary Book Review Conversations with Paul Auster by James M. Hutchisson:
Download or read book Conversations with Paul Auster written by James M. Hutchisson and published by Univ. Press of Mississippi. This book was released on 2013-01-24 with total page 240 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Paul Auster (b. 1947) is one of the most critically acclaimed and intensely studied authors in America today. His varied career as a novelist, poet, translator, and filmmaker has attracted scholarly scrutiny from a variety of critical perspectives. The steadily rising arc of his large readership has made him something of a popular culture figure with many appearances in print interviews, as well as on television, the radio, and the internet. Auster's best-known novel may be his first, City of Glass (1985), a grim and intellectually puzzling mystery that belies its surface image as a “detective novel” and goes on to become a profound meditation on transience and mortality, the inadequacies of language, and isolation. Fifteen more novels have followed since then, including The Music of Chance, Moon Palace, The Book of Illusions, and The Brooklyn Follies. He has, in the words of one critic, “given the phrase ‘experimental fiction’ a good name” by fashioning bona fide literary works with all the rigor and intellect demanded of the contemporary avant-garde. This volume—the first of its kind on Auster—will be useful to both scholars and students for the penetrating self-analysis and the wide range of biographical information and critical commentary it contains. Conversations with Paul Auster covers all of Auster's oeuvre, from The New York Trilogy—of which City of Glass is a component—to Sunset Park (2010), along with his screenplays for Smoke (1995) and Blue in the Face (1996). Within, Auster nimbly discusses his poetry, memoir, nonfiction, translations, and film directing.
Summary Book Review Conversations with Dave Eggers by Scott F. Parker:
Download or read book Conversations with Dave Eggers written by Scott F. Parker and published by Univ. Press of Mississippi. This book was released on 2022-01-17 with total page 258 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: It’s been barely twenty years since Dave Eggers (b. 1970) burst onto the American literary scene with the publication of his memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. In that time, he has gone on to publish several books of fiction, a few more books of nonfiction, a dozen books for children, and many harder-to-classify works. In addition to his authorship, Eggers has established himself as an influential publisher, editor, and designer. He has also founded a publishing company, McSweeney’s; two magazines, Might and McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern; and several nonprofit organizations. This whirlwind of productivity, within publishing and beyond, gives Eggers a unique standing among American writers: jack of all trades, master of same. The interviews contained in Conversations with Dave Eggers suggest the range of Eggers’s pursuits—a range that is reflected in the variety of the interviews themselves. In addition to the expected interviews with major publications, Eggers engages here with obscure magazines and blogs, trade publications, international publications, student publications, and children from a mentoring program run by one of his nonprofits. To read the interviews in sequence is to witness Eggers’s rapid evolution. The cultural hysteria around Eggers’s memoir and his complicated relationship with celebrity are clear in many of the earlier interviews. From there, as the buzz around him mellows, Eggers responds in kind, allowing writing and his other endeavors to come to the fore of his conversations. Together, these interviews provide valuable insight into a driving force in contemporary American literature.
Summary Book Review Conversations with Greil Marcus by Greil Marcus:
Download or read book Conversations with Greil Marcus written by Greil Marcus and published by Univ. Press of Mississippi. This book was released on 2012-10 with total page 239 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: "A collection of interviews with one of America's most influential authors, music journalists, and cultural critics. In this book, the author has explored the connections among figures, sounds, and events in culture, relating unrelated points of departure, mapping alternate histories and surprising correspondences." -- Blackwells.
Summary Book Review Conversations with Clint by Kevin Avery:
Download or read book Conversations with Clint written by Kevin Avery and published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA. This book was released on 2011-10-06 with total page 288 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Clint Eastwood has forged a remarkable career as a movie star, director, producer and composer. These newly discovered conversations with legendary journalist Paul Nelson return us to a point when, still acting in other people's films, Eastwood was honing his directorial craft on a series of inexpensive films that he brought in under budget and ahead of schedule. Operating largely beneath the critical radar, he made his movies swiftly and inexpensively. Few of his critics then could have predicted that Eastwood the actor and director would ever be taken as seriously as he is today. But Paul Nelson did. The interviews were conducted from 1979 through 1983. Eastwood talks openly and without illusions about his early career as an actor, old Hollywood, and his formative years as a director, his influence and what he learned along the way as an actor-lessons that helped him become the director he is today. Conversations with Clint provides a fresh and vivid perspective on the life and work of this most American of movie icons.
Summary Book Review Conversations with Steve Erickson by Matthew Luter:
Download or read book Conversations with Steve Erickson written by Matthew Luter and published by Univ. Press of Mississippi. This book was released on 2021-06-28 with total page 282 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Much like his novels, Steve Erickson (b. 1950) exists on the periphery of our perception, a shadow figure lurking on the margins, threatening to break through, but never fully emerging. Despite receiving prestigious honors, Erickson has remained a subterranean literary figure, receiving effusive praise from his fans, befuddled or cautious assessments from reviewers, and scant scholarly attention. Erickson’s obscurity comes in part from the difficulty of categorizing his work within current trends in fiction, and in part from the wide variety of concerns that populate his writing: literature, music, film, politics, history, time, and his fascination with his home city of Los Angeles. His dream-fueled blend of European modernism, American pulp, and paranoid late-century postmodernism makes him essential to an appreciation of the last forty years of American fiction but difficult to classify neatly within that same realm. He is at once thoroughly of his time and distinctly outside it. In these twenty-four interviews Erickson clarifies how his aesthetic and political visions are inextricable from each other. He diagnoses the American condition since World War II, only to reveal that America’s triumphs and failures have been consistent since its inception—and that he presciently described decades ago certain features of our present. Additionally, the interviews expose the remarkable consistency of Erickson’s vision over time while simultaneously capturing the new threads that appear in his later fiction as they emerge in his thought. Conversations with Steve Erickson will deepen readers’ understanding of how Erickson’s books work—and why this utterly singular writer deserves greater attention.
Summary Book Review Conversations with Colson Whitehead by Derek C. Maus:
Download or read book Conversations with Colson Whitehead written by Derek C. Maus and published by Univ. Press of Mississippi. This book was released on 2019-03-12 with total page 196 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Since the publication of his first novel, The Intuitionist, in 1999, Colson Whitehead (b. 1969) has been considered an important new voice in American literature. His seven subsequent books have done little to contradict that initial assessment, especially after 2016’s The Underground Railroad spent many weeks at the top of bestseller lists and won numerous major literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. Ranging from 2001 to 2016, the twenty-three interviews collected in Conversations with Colson Whitehead reveal the workings of one of America’s most idiosyncratic and most successful literary minds. Through these interviews, it is clear that none of this well-earned praise has gone to his head. If anything, he still seems inclined to present himself as an awkward misfit who writes about such offbeat subject matter as rival groups of elevator inspectors, the insufficiency of off-brand “flesh-colored” bandages, or a literalized alternate version of the Underground Railroad. Whitehead speaks at length about matters related to his craft, including his varied literary and nonliterary influences, the particular methods of researching and writing that have proved valuable to telling his stories, and the ways in which he has managed the rollercoaster life of a professional writer. He also opens up about popular culture, particularly the unconventional blend of music, genre fiction, B movies, and comic books that he gleefully identifies as a passion that has persisted for him since his childhood.