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/

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/

What a Punderful Word: On Joanna Walsh’s “Worlds from the Word’s End”

For LARB, I reviewed Joanna Walsh's short story collection Worlds from the Word's End (And Other Stories, 2017). This review follows up on some literary theoretical research I had done on puns, as they are taken up by poets like Harryette Mullen. This review particularly attends to the way that Walsh uses the pun as a form of thought to create inventive and surprising connections that would not be knowable otherwise. Read it here: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/what-a-punderful-word-on-joanna-walshs-worlds-from-the-words-end/

Foreign Companion: Jean Giono’s “Melville: A Novel”

For LARB, I reviewed Jean Giono's Melville: A Novel (NYRB Classics, 2017). This review thinks through the fictionalization of Herman Melville's biography and its resonances with the French context of Giono's own writing. Read more here: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/foreign-companion-jean-gionos-melville-a-novel/