A Long Strange Trip, Man

A prologue to Dead Astronauts entitled “The Dream of the Blue Fox” describes its inciting incident, although I did not know that during my reading. In fact, the novel’s overall meaning, along with its inciting incident, are entirely opaque until nearly its end when the Blue Fox finally describes his dream, but I’ll get toContinue reading “A Long Strange Trip, Man”

Jonathan Franzen is READING MY MIND!

That’s how I’ve felt while reading each of Franzen’s novels. He has such an amazing talent for empathy—getting to the very heart of what a man feels, worries about, cares about—that reading his new novel Crossroads seems therapeutic. It may even be better than weekly sessions with a private therapist/psychiatrist. Crossroads is the story of a preacher—anContinue reading “Jonathan Franzen is READING MY MIND!”

Digging Up and Polishing Old Tropes to Make Them New

A.W. Baldwin ingeniously deploys classic adventure tropes in Diamonds of Devil’s Tail, dusting them off and resurrecting them like the treasure-seekers in his tale. In it, an incredibly gymnastic cat burglar pulls off the jewel heist of the century; members of a white-water rafting expedition stumble across a spill of diamonds and race to itsContinue reading “Digging Up and Polishing Old Tropes to Make Them New”

On the Origin of Ideas

It’s funny that despite all the literary fiction I’ve read over the last couple of decades and all my literary aspirations, I ended up settling on my current subject, my current writing obsession. Throughout my twenties and thirties, I’d wanted to be a writer. Like Wilco’s great lyrical genius Jeff Tweedy says in his book HowContinue reading “On the Origin of Ideas”

On Don Delillo:

Deconstructing DeLillo: Analysis of White Noise Using Psychoanalytic and Deconstruction/Post-Structural Literary Theories      Don Delillo is not fond of postmodern conceptions of reality, including Nietzsche’s nihilism and Derrida’s insistence there is no meaning in things other than “differance.” His novel White Noise reveals instead an affinity for the transcendental romanticism of late 18- andContinue reading “On Don Delillo:”