Monthly Archive: December, 2011

on midnight in paris

The sentimentalist is he who would enjoy without incurring the immense debtorship for a thing done. -James Joyce, Ulysses Hemingway: Have you ever been hunting? Gil: Only for bargains. –from Midnight in Paris… Continue reading

provisions: erin mcnellis’s “impossible loves”

proviso: A clause in a document making a qualification, condition, or restriction. provisions: the providing or supplying of something, especially of food or other necessities. My friend Erin McNellis has just published a… Continue reading

the worst of 2011

Happy holidays everybody! It is traditional, at this time of the year, to make some small allowance for the really awful things that happened to (or, sometimes, because of) us in the past… Continue reading

the best of 2011

There is an ancient Chinese curse that reads, “May you always live in 2011.” Honestly, I don’t totally understand why it became such a popular curse, but I do know this: 2011 was… Continue reading

a thought experiment in writing

So, Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists and essayists alive today, just published this terrible thing in the New York Times. Here’s an excerpt: The Bible is the model for and subject… Continue reading

my mysteriously censored letter defending ralph waldo emerson

Even though we live in “the land of the free,” the following letter was never printed in the New York Times Magazine. I have a sense that powerful interests are conspiring here against… Continue reading

at the push of a button

Has downloadable music made music seem less valuable? This issue comes to my desk via a commenter named Will, who responded here to my post “apology not accepted.” Will writes: However, this group… Continue reading

apology not accepted

For some reason, probably the high level of snark, this blog post from is making the rounds. It epitomizes everything that the Web shouldn’t be; it’s unreflective, specious, pandering. Let’s build a… Continue reading