Blog Profile / Literary Kicks


URL :http://www.litkicks.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:595
Posts / Week:1.2
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Dystopia Weekend: America's Ayn Rand Problem

It was only six years ago — but it seems so much longer than that — that I wrote a book called Why Ayn Rand is Wrong (and Why It Matters). This book emerged from a series of blog posts I was composing (under my then-pseudonym Levi Asher)...Show More Summary

Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov: Russia's Eternal Literary #Resistance

Because I love literature, I bristle when I hear Russia described as my country's enemy. Certainly Vladimir Putin is our enemy, because he is a tyrant who murders journalists. And certainly Donald Trump is our enemy, because Vladimir...Show More Summary

Miami Diary, August 2017

I've been communing with a view of the Atlantic ocean all summer. I don't get to spend as much time out there swimming in it as I'd like, because I'm a workaholic no matter where I live. But the view out my window helps keep me centered. Show More Summary

Ride to Think: The Lonely Journey of Robert M. Pirsig

Robert Maynard Pirsig, author of the great 1974 novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died on April 24, 2017 at the age of 88. This novel was a cornerstone of the late Beat/Hippie literary era, and it continues to touch the...Show More Summary

The Great Lost American Rock Memoir: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

The audiobook of Bruce Springsteen's autobiography Born To Run is narrated by Bruce himself. It kicks off with a bizarre, unexpected noise: a slow thundering torrent, familiar but eerily transformed. This is the opening of the greatShow More Summary

To Be Trans: Lili Elbe and Me

(April Rose Schneider has written for Litkicks about novelist Richard Farina and Rush lyricist Neil Peart. This is by far her most personal piece. Thanks, April. —Marc) "Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad." — Euripidies,...Show More Summary

Sympathizers and Innocents: New Novels by Viet Thanh Nguyen and Dana Spiotta

I recently enjoyed two new novels, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen and Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta, that left me thinking about the shimmering surfaces of everyday life, and the interwoven meshes of secrecy and guilt that ripple beneath. Show More Summary

Phases of Change

A few weeks ago I showed up for a cool poetry reading at a dive called Gunther's in Northport, Long Island, a bar famous for being Jack Kerouac's favorite drinking spot when he'd lived nearby. This reading was significant to me because something was happening for the first time. Show More Summary

Revolt on Mount Parnassus: An Allegory in Copy/Paste

Introduction PARIS - AUGUST, 1870 - An incorrigible, horrible genius. A fifteen year-old! disembarks at Rue de Maubeuge. A concussion of uncombed hair infested with a plague of lice. Soiled clothing. A homicidal cupid with the enormous hands of a strangler. Show More Summary

Beverly, Clearly

For a long time I thought her name was Beverly Clearly. That's because she wrote so clearly. For real: as a kid I would look at the covers of these wonderfully readable books, and "Beverly Clearly" was the author name I saw. It's rare that I have a chance to celebrate a favorite author who is turning 100 years old. Show More Summary

Phife Dawg, Represent ...

Phife Dawg aka Malik Taylor, the raspy half of the seminal hiphop band A Tribe Called Quest, has died at the age of 45. The brilliant, funny, wise, immensely talented and lovable rapper from Queens had suffered from diabetes and other ailments for years. Show More Summary

For Sam Savage, Beautiful Literary Rat in Hospice

A favorite novelist of mine, Sam Savage, is entering hospice. According to the Numero Cinq article revealing the sad news of his medical condition, he has suffered for decades with a blood disease called "alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency". Show More Summary

Glimpses

It's a new year and a new universe (because, let's face it, the universe is always changing, and always new)... and I'm now writing with a new name. So I thought I'd reach for something familiar and easy and tell you briefly about what I've been reading and enjoying lately. Show More Summary

Becoming Myself

A few years ago I wrote a piece called "Becoming Levi Asher" to explain why I began to use a pen name in 1994. (Short version: I was about to publish my first short story, a satire about my job, and I didn't want to get caught.) Today,...Show More Summary

The Genius of David Bowie, in 5 Songs

I'm going to let other people remember David Bowie for his cultural importance: his brave and liberating embrace of sexual ambiguity, his clever shape-shifting, his sophistication as an actor, his sharp sense of pop art's relationship to rock and roll. He was truly great in all of these ways. Show More Summary

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

I was psyched when I heard that a novel about New York City in the punk rock 1970s by Garth Risk Hallberg was expected to be one of the blockbusters of 2015, and that the unproven young author had been awarded an astonishing two million dollar advance for this book. Show More Summary

Beat Journeys with Brian Hassett and Eliot Katz

What does "Beat Generation" mean today, 60 years after Michael McClure, Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg rocked a San Francisco crowd with a world-changing poetry reading, and 46 years after Jack Kerouac's wan and befuddled death in St. Show More Summary

Reaching

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for? — Robert Browning My first Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has been an eye-opener. We aimed for $10,000 and got 57% of the way by the end of the declared 60 day interval, which is pretty good but not good enough. Show More Summary

Elegant Violence: David Shields Takes On The New York Times

David Shields is a puckish literary critic and Litkicks favorite whose epic 2010 book Reality Hunger proposed that creative writers may as well skip the pretense of fiction and simply write the truth, since that's what readers value most in either fiction or non-fiction anyway. Show More Summary

A Thanksgiving Thought Experiment

A great skit on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live suggested an Adele song as a cure for obnoxious and endless Thanksgiving dinner arguments about politics. Adele is great, but here’s a more substantial (though simple) thought experiment that can produce amazing results. Show More Summary

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