I'd like to use my bloggy pulpit to draw your attention to a draft of Kathleen Fitzpatrick's essay, "Infinite Summer: Reading the Social Network," which discusses the origin and signifiance of an online effort to read Infinite Jest the summer after David Foster Wallace's suicide.


In the New York Review of Books, Zadie Smith has written an interesting review of Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network that doubles as a critique of Facebook.


I'd like to post a few comments on Mark Greif's excellent essay, "What was the Hipster?" which was published in New York magazine and is part of a new book of the same name put out by the n+1 Foundation.


In the spirit of continuing the conversation we have been having on Arcade about Stanley Fish, the recent axing of French, Italian, classics, Russian, and theatre at SUNY Albany, and the future of the humanities, I'd like to present this video (h/t Mark Vega).


Gavin Miller has a written a fascinating article,"The Apathetic Fallacy," in the April 2010 issue of Philosophy and Literature. Following up on the arguments made by Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels in "Against Theory," Miller argues that the humanities are plagued by a wide-ranging -- and harmful -- taboo against speaking about intentionality and subjective epistemology.


Mark McGurl's The Program Era ends with an insightful reflection on the problem of "scale" in literary study -- our almost automatic assumption that we must always scale up the stakes of literary study in order to argue for our relevance.  Bigger, we commonly assume, is better, and will garner for us more funding, more attention, more significance.


As Cecile Alduy points out in a recent ARCADE post, bad writing is far too common in literary criticism, which is surprising given the degree to which we are supposed to be attentive students of language and style. Cecile's post has gotten me thinking, Why do we write so badly?


Ian McEwan’s Solar (2010) has received mixed reviews, and for good reason. It’s a novel that starts with remarkable strength.


What does it mean to own a community?


At the risk of self-contradiction, I want to draw attention to a recent "Room for Debate" in the New York Times. Gathering together a number of critics, including Stanford's very own Blakey Vermeule, the Times asks: 


Lee Konstantinou's picture
Lee Konstantinou
Associate Professor of English, University of Maryland, College Park
Lee Konstantinou studies twentieth and twenty-first century American literature, and has current research interests in contemporary fiction, the legacy of postmodernism, comics, science fiction, popular culture, as well as cultural sociology. He wrote the novel Pop Apocalypse (Ecoo/HarperCollins, 2009) and the literary history Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction (Harvard University Press, 2016). With Samuel Cohen, he co-edited The Legacy of David Foster Wallace (University of Iowa Press, 2012). He is working on various projects, including "The Cartoon Art: Comics in the Age of Mass High Culture," which argues that the elevation of comics since the 1980s is an important case study that can help us revisit -- and reconfigure -- the mass culture debate after the end of postmodernism. He is Senior Humanities editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.