Notes on “Big Cactus,” a Novel by Sylvia Wilkinson

In his third essay in Anatomy of Criticism, “Theory of Myths,” Northrop Frye places irony and satire in the “Mythos of Winter”: As structure, the central principle of ironic myth is best approached as a parody of romance: the application of romantic mythical forms to a more realistic content which fits them in unexpected ways. […]

Two Graphic Novels: Gipi’s “Notes for a War Story,” and Rutu Modan’s “Exit Wounds”

“Notes for a War Story,” a first person narrative by Gipi, is set in a nebulous country where villages exist one day and disappear the next. Three young men band together to survive on the margins of the country, doing petty crime. But it’s an odd man out story. The boys have only vague notions […]

On Description

Embedded in most descriptions is a prescription, instructions for viewing, boundaries stipulated and promoted. What might look at first glance objective enough turns around and around on an axis of theory. Qualifications: from a distance; in the waning light of a neon-like moon; on a particularly hot, steamy day, out of season. Adjectives and adverbs […]

Notes on n+1’s “MFA VS NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction”

The blogger is the busker of the writing world, sidewalk setup with pre-production to distribution in a snap, with or without an MFA or ever having set foot in Brooklyn, where it’s easy to mistake an NYC for a hipster, the new hepcat, but the character with a sign on a street corner, selling short […]