Liza Birnbaum on Why James Agee Matters

Birnbaum writes on the beautiful failures of Agee’s writing @ Open Letters Monthly. In a 1962 piece for The New Republic, John Updike, 30 years old and suddenly in the spotlight for both the receipt of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the publication of his novel Rabbit Run, diagnosed a variety of maladies in what he… Read more »

Angela Readman: Sylvia and Me

Readman recalls her early love of Sylvia Plath @ Friction. I don’t talk about Sylvia in company, Plath that is. Don’t think we’re quite on a first name basis, though I first met her at sixteen. There were four of us, sat on low chairs behind a bookcase. This was after hours stuff. A teacher,… Read more »

Adri Wong on miniBiography and 99%

Wong considers our need for personal narratives today @ The Hydra. I have been thinking about this image: An individual holding a piece of paper on which she has written a short summation of her current circumstances (debts, bills, blessings, fears).  Then, the words: “I am the 99%.” It is a story-telling device that developed… Read more »

They will be as forgotten and isolated as they are now

Janine Di Giovanni on the life and death of a young artist whose graffiti inspired Libyan protesters @ Granta. The drive to Benghazi from the Egyptian border is long: hours through a stark undeveloped land, rapids over deep ravines, then barren desert. When we reach the city, it is something of a surprise – a decrepit,… Read more »

Sandow’s body

Jim Elledge uncovers the life and allure of Eugene Sandow @ The Gay and Lesbian Review. The annals of gay history are littered with examples of men in the public eye who have successfully hidden their gay lives from view. They’ve used various strategies, such as marriage to a woman, to camouflage their sexual activities… Read more »