In a recent post about Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus's article "Surface Reading," I suggested that the history of a text's reception could constitute a surface-reading practice. Here, I want to take up my promise to discuss the affinities between reception history and one of the modes of reading that Best and Marcus do include: genre criticism.
This is the imaginary soundtrack to a film that, knowing the film business, will never get made. You can read about the script online.
“Imagine a world without art.” This could easily have been the message greeting visitors to the Wikipedia site on January 18, 2012, when it went silent in protest against legislation proposed in Congress (Stop Online Privacy Act, or SOPA). For Wikipedia and Google the issue is “free information” in the “open” Internet.
I recently, albeit somewhat belatedly, read Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus's 2009 article "Surface Reading: An Introduction" which opens their special issue of Representations on "The Way We Read Now."
In a recent NPR piece TV critic Eric Deggans cites shows like "Hell on Wheels," Sons of Anarchy," "Dexter," and "Breaking Bad" as evidence of a proliferations of television programs featuring "characters the audience likes and wants to see succeed, even though they act an awful lot like villains.
What can we learn from eighteen eighteen-year-olds about friendship? Here are some ethnographic notes I made from a freshman seminar I taught this past fall.
Whenever a new anthology of modern U.S. poetry comes along, it seems that some distinguished critic or other is fated to take up arms, defending his or her vision of canonical distinction against the treachery of "inclusiveness." The latest eminence to cast herself as such a centurion is Helen Vendler, who reproaches Rita Dove's Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry (2011) in a review that has garnered no shortage of sensational, morbid attention ("Are These the Poems to Remember?," NYRB, November, 2011).
Back on the grid again, after a holiday week in Amsterdam & Barcelona, which brought some deep thoughts on life online & off as well as some literal fireworks.