A Tale of Two Valleys

For Public Books, I wrote about Anna Wiener's memoir Uncanny Valley and the HBO tv show Silicon Valley. In grappling with the history and present of Silicon Valley, these both rely on nineteenth-century narratives and tropes to craft their own visions of contemporary capitalism. Read it here: https://www.publicbooks.org/a-tale-of-two-valleys/

Let Them Eat Cake

For Avidly, a channel of Los Angeles Review of Books, I wrote about the recent phenomenon of people making cakes that look like things beside cakes. I use a marxist approach to aesthetics to try to understand the way that these cakes are mediating our contemporary experience of capitalism. It's pretty jokey and somewhat ridiculous, but I think I actually make some useful points about the place of aesthetics and memes in our current moment: http://avidly.lareviewofbooks.org/2020/07/14/let-them-eat-cake/

Home, On the Range

"Kansas was the tornado signaled by a glowering sky that Ray and Lorna knew was dangerous but kept to themselves all day," Christine Schutt writes in the latest issue of Noon. There's something interesting happening with the western as a genre, with the domestic narrative, with avant-garde fiction and its persistent, metonymic and metaphoric displacement of words and meanings. Read my thoughts: https://adamfales.com/2020/06/27/home-on-the-range/

All That Is Solid Melts Into Smoke

For Chicago Review, I wrote a review of HBO's show High Maintenance. My review tries to understand the conditions of labor depicted by the show and how it reveals the way we stay attached to certain modes of hope and life in contemporary capitalism. Read more here: https://www.chicagoreview.org/all-that-is-solid-melts-into-smoke/

“Copyright, 1892, by Elizabeth S. Melville”: Rethinking the Field Formation of Melville Studies

With Jordan Stein, I wrote this article on the role of Elizabeth Shaw Melville in the formation of the career and study of her husband Herman Melville. It was the result of a long process of archival research and scholarly collaboration. We are currently pursuing follow up work on the matter. You can find a pdf of the article here: https://tinyurl.com/CopyrightESM

Horror in Revision: On the Contemporary Gothic

For LARB, I wrote about three contemporary books that are revising and rewriting gothic novels: Chase Berggrun's R E D (Birds LLC, 2018), Sarah Perry's Melmoth (Custom House, 2018), and Ahmed Saadawi's Frankenstein in Baghdad (Penguin, 2018). You can read the essay here: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/horror-in-revision-on-the-contemporary-gothic/#!

Odds and Ends: Fictive Probability in Helen DeWitt’s “Some Trick”

For LARB, I reviewed Helen DeWitt's short story collection Some Trick (New Directions, 2018). My review contextualizes the collection in DeWitt's larger career and thinks through her simultaneous representation and engagement with her characterization as a "brilliant" writer. Read it here: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/odds-and-ends-fictive-probability-in-helen-dewitts-some-trick/