Blog Profile / Literary Kicks

Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:577
Posts / Week:1.4
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Philosophy Weekend: Why Russell Brand is Right

The pointing finger in this photo belongs to Jeremy Paxman, a British journalist. The pointee is Russell Brand, a brash and popular comedian who has guest-edited a new "Revolution" issue of the New Statesman, in which he says thingsShow More Summary

Daniel Radcliffe, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat Darlings

There are two great cinematic jokes in the new film Kill Your Darlings, two sly references to the dilemma of self-consciousness that this movie about the Beat Generation struggles to overcome. First, it must overcome the suffocatingShow More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments

Here's a timely one, to cap off a week of truly bizarre politics in my country, the United States of America. An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi look like a children's book, with appealing and funny drawings by Alejandro Giraldo, but is written for grown-ups. Each page represents a different common form of logical fallacy....

The Doyle/Shirley Universe: A Talk With John Shirley

The shaded cobblestone streets of Garden Rest are lined with shops, cottages, a pub, a boarding house near the town square, and of course, something nefarious lurking in dark hinterlands. John Shirley’s Doyle After Death reads like a classic Sherlock Holmes whodunit, with a couple of major differences. First, it takes place in the afterlife, or as...

Philosophy Weekend: Singing Out For John Rawls

A musical play about ethical philosophy called A Theory of Justice, loosely inspired by John Rawls's book of the same name, is causing a mild sensation after opening in Oxford and Edinburgh. Written by four Oxford students named Eylon...Show More Summary

Three Books About the Rise and Fall of Spiro Agnew

This week marks the 40th anniversary of Vice President Spiro Agnew's resignation on October 10, 1973. Strangely, I just checked Twitter and #agnew is not trending. The morality tale of Spiro Agnew is an incredible story that deserves more attention than it currently gets. Show More Summary

It's Time to Talk About Spiro Agnew

Forty years ago this week, on October 10, 1973, the Vice President of the United States of America suddenly resigned his office. The resignation of Spiro Agnew was arranged as a secret confluence of two important events, carefully timed...Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: The Need for Historical Vision

Funny thing: it was only when I began writing about ethical philosophy here on Litkicks that I began writing seriously about history. The two disciplines might not seem to have much in common, but to me they feel intertwined. Maybe that's...Show More Summary

Wild Tales by Graham Nash

Some of you may wonder why I'm so crazy about rockstar memoirs. Well, I guess it's because I have so much respect for the body of work the great songwriters and musicians of our lifetimes have created. From Chuck Berry to Mobb Deep, our best rockers, strummers, crooners and rappers are among the great geniuses of our time. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: A Statue of Immanuel Kant

Back when I was a philosophy student, Immanuel Kant was it. The 18th century Prussian philosopher who pinched off the stiff arguments between the Continental Rationalists and the British Empiricists and ushered in the contemporary era...Show More Summary

Dear Nicholson Baker, Your Important Writing Career Called and Wants You Back

I'm trying real hard to find a way to love Traveling Sprinkler, the new Paul Chowder novel by Nicholson Baker, who is just about my favorite writer in the world, but whose books I increasingly can't stand. I say "the new Paul Chowder novel" the way one might say "the new Hannibal Lecter novel" or "the new Rabbit Angstrom novel", but the sad truth is...

Philosophy Weekend: Why Immanuel Kant is Controversial in 2013

We don't see many philosophy-related sound bites in our news cycle, so the story of a guy who got shot in an argument over Immanuel Kant that rippled through the likes of The Guardian, ABC News and Time last week was a notable event....Show More Summary

Carolyn Cassady, 1923 - 2013

(Carolyn Cassady, a major figure from the earliest days of the Beat Generation and a valuable spokesperson for the feminine side of Beat culture, has died at the age of 90. Carolyn was married to Neal Cassady and was also beloved by Jack Kerouac, who wrote her into both 'On The Road' and 'Big Sur'. Show More Summary

Sneak Peek

The secret to creating great and enduring websites, I'm pretty sure, is to have the nerve to launch stuff that's totally not ready. This is something I've always been good at. If you've hung around Litkicks for any amount of time, you know I've been trying to launch a new version of our long-running Action Poetry space for over a year now. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Jonathan Franzen Channels Karl Kraus

I love a writer with the gumption to fix the world. The list of great shouting visionaries and Jeremiahs of classic literature includes Henry David Thoreau, whose prescription was nature and simplicity, and T. S. Eliot, who offered the world the balm of strict religious and academic tradition. Show More Summary

Bleeding Edge: A Pynchon Event

The fact that I don't love Thomas Pynchon is statistically nearly impossible. Any literary heat map of my favorite writers would find Pynchon near the center, hovering somewhere between Brautigan, Vonnegut, Kesey, Burroughs, Thompson, Acker, Coetzee, Auster. Show More Summary

Technology Weekend: What I'm Working On

Some people think Literary Kicks is a blog. That's because I pretend it is. However, I only started to describing Litkicks as a blog in the mid-2000s, by which time the site had already gone through a lot of changes. No matter what format...Show More Summary

Kerouac's Wheel

Jack Kerouac's poetry has just been enshrined in the prestigious Library of America series, which would have made him proud. No sooner is the book published, though, than comes the reaction. Bruce Bawer trashes Kerouac mercilessly in The New Criterion, with raw insults that go way over the top: Grimly reconciled though one may be to the annual flood...

Choire Sicha and the Fatal Epigraph

Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City is the first novel I've ever read that harmed itself with an epigraph. Yes, I considered the little italicized quotation that adorns the page before the first page of this novel so poorly chosen that it immediately depressed the excitement with which I had...

Philosophy Weekend: Hope in Syria

This is a sculpture found in ancient Syria around 5000 B.C. It's a reminder of how glorious a land is today a scene of misery, genocide and fear, as the civil war against the Assad regime worsens and the world contemplates the possibility...Show More Summary

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