Blog Profile / Literary Kicks

Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:562
Posts / Week:1.4
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

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

The Salinger Mystique

(Dear readers: some of you may have been wondering why I have not blogged my thoughts about the stunning news that five new J. D. Salinger books will be posthumously published. The truth is, I'm dumbstruck. I never expected to read another...Show More Summary

Setting Free the Poets

Poet Robert Pinsky has written a book about the plight of modern poets, Singing School. which must be pretty good, because it inspired a brilliant piece -- a manifesto, even -- by Daniel Bosch in the Daily Beast. Time was, a poem stood the test of time because one person after another stood up and spoke that poem aloud, and their speaking gave him or...

Philosophy Weekend: Faces

Who wants words, on an August weekend before the final week of the summer? I don't. Let's look at some pictures instead. Renee Jorgensen Bolinger, a philosophy graduate student at the University of Southern California, has found a fresh...Show More Summary

Once More to West Egg, Through the Valley of Ashes

This is Willets Point, a sprawling center for automobile salvage located just west of Flushing Meadows Park in New York City, and a place of amazing squalid beauty. CitiField, where the Mets play baseball, is visible just beyond the scrap yards. Show More Summary

The Space of an Idea

I had an idea for a blog post. I'm on summer vacation -- not exactly on a beach, but near one -- so I didn't finish it in time. Since my idea was for a blog post about the idea of a blog post, I'm not sure if this is that blog post, or if this is a blog post about that blog post. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Your Frame of Reference

Do you ever get a "stuck" feeling when you're trying to think? How can we ever know if we're thinking widely enough, if we're failing to realize something obvious, something so large that it can't fit inside our frame of reference? The...Show More Summary

Katharine Graham, the Heroine of the Washington Post

A surprise announcement that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is buying the Washington Post has signaled the end of a distinctive era in family publishing. The Washington Post has been owned by three generations of a single family since Eugene Meyer bought it in 1933. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Chomsky the Hopeless Anarcho-Syndicalist

I wish I could love Noam Chomsky, the American political philosopher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of important books about revolutionary politics like Hegemony or Survival and Manufacturing Consent...

Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove

There's a moment in Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove when Ben Greenman (the book's co-writer and the co-manager of Questlove’s the Roots) makes the observation that the Roots is one of the few bands – perhaps the only band – left in hiphop. Actually, strike that. It was Questlove who said that, on page 4, in a...

Philosophy Weekend: Slavoj Zizek and the Dream of Yugoslavia

Last weekend I mentioned two keys to appreciating Slavoj Zizek, the popular but controversial Marxist philosopher. First, I said that his philosophical stance if one of defensive advocacy rather than constructive theorizing, that he is best understood as a self-appointed "lawyer for Marxism". Show More Summary

The Ballad of J. T. Laura

I never understood why anyone called Laura Albert a fake writer. When she invented J. T. LeRoy, she formed the basis of an enduring emotional and artistic chemistry with a wide variety of readers. Isn't this what a real writer is supposed to do? Some accused Laura of creating a fake persona, but J. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Slavoj Zizek, Marxism's Lovable Lawyer

The philosophy blogosphere (to the extent that such a thing exists) blew up this week after Noam Chomsky opened a can of whoop-butt on Slavoj Zizek, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida. The American philosopher characterized the threeShow More Summary

The Great Lost Blues Memoir: When I Left Home by Buddy Guy

I used to buy records in a Chicago shop called the Jazz Record Mart on Grand Avenue. It was run by a guy named Bob Koester, a jazz and blues fanatic. He also had his own record company, Delmark Records, where he recorded a lot of blues artists who'd been passed over by Chess Records. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Tactile Philosophy, from Helen Keller to Jacques Lacan

Tactile philosophy. These words popped into my mind when I saw a beautiful, amazing photograph of a blissful 74-year-old Helen Keller enveloped by a troupe of Martha Graham's dancers, feeling the music and visual expression through vibration and touch, raising her arms and joining in the dance. Show More Summary

Sparta by Roxana Robinson

A Roxana Robinson novel will never waste your time with characters who are fashionably bored. Robinson's characters are always in trouble -- are nearly or literally in extremis. Her early novel This Is My Daughter is a piercing study of a second marriage besieged by child problems. Cost is a bitter tale of a young heroin addict and his family. The new Sparta...

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