Category Archive: The Valve

In Which Our Hero Resolves The Question of Nature vs. Nurture

(x-posted to The Valve, of course) Nature versus nurture, Lodge. Nature always wins. –Secretary William Cleary, Wedding Crashers Jenny Davidson’s new book of cultural criticism, entitled Breeding: A Partial History of the Eighteenth… Continue reading

Those Obscene Octuplets

(x-posted to The Valve) Greetings from California, where, as is now very widely known, people do crazy things with the help of doctors, up to and including giving birth to children 7 through… Continue reading

On Writer’s Block and Responding to the Joker comments

Dear readers, Happy Indian summer, everybody! Even if you’ve already headed back to school, or are working an eight-to-five, there’s a dreamlike haze to August, a feeling as though there’s still one or… Continue reading

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stranger: Heath Ledger’s Joker

(x-posted to The Valve) Dear readers, this is about the film The Dark Knight and will, of necessity, be crammed absolutely full of spoilers. *** It seems we are still too close to… Continue reading

The Shape of Things To Come: On ‘Literary Thinking and the New Left’

(x-posted to The Valve) What follows may appear to be a discussion of the 1960s in America; it is not. Reading through Sean McCann and Michael Szalay’s indispensable essay “Do You Believe in… Continue reading

Look Back In Anger: The Death of Literary Studies

(x-posted to The Valve) Amardeep Singh at The Valve drew my attention to this article by William Deresiewicz, writing for The Nation, and also to the outstanding response written by CR and posted… Continue reading

A Little Something You Can Touch: HBO’s Wire and the Politics of Visual Media

(x-posted to The Valve) Spend some on a little something you can touch. A new car, a new coat…it’s why we get up in the morning. -The Greek You want it to be… Continue reading

Forgotten Satiric Genius: Christian Schütze

(x-posted to The Valve) About two-thirds of the way through Theodor Adorno’s admirable book The Jargon of Authenticity, illuminating the entire volume, is a little piece of German satire that nobody has ever… Continue reading

The Scientistic Fallacy: Peter Kramer, Judith Warner, and the Debate Over Psychiatric Medication

(x-posted to The Valve) For scholars in the humanities, there is no way to avoid reflecting on what’s ahead for the discipline, a question that branches in two directions. First, how do scholars… Continue reading

Why Americans Did Not Watch The Oscars

(x-posted to The Valve) The Oscars mean two things to most Americans. First, it’s a chance to celebrate the most impressive films of the year, from a mainstream point of view. We wash… Continue reading