Quotidian Wonder

From the October 2016 Print Edition

Zero Kby don delilloscribner, 288 pages, $26In 2013, Jonathan Safran Foer claimed that “Only those with no imagination, and no grounding in reality, would deny the possibility that they will live forever. It’s possible that many reading these words will never die.” Many other intelligent, . . . . Continue Reading »

Thrown in the World

From the March 2016 Print Edition

An awful lot of summer blockbusters in 2014 seemed to be about young people dying. Of terminal illnesses in The Fault in Our Stars, as far as I could tell from the previews, and at one another’s hands in convoluted, dystopian competitions in The Maze Runner and the third installment of The Hunger . . . . Continue Reading »

Honor Thy Child

From the February 2015 Print Edition

Lila: A Novel by marilynne robinson farrar, straus and giroux, 272 pages, $26 Of Pieter Bruegel’s sixteenth-century de­­pic­­tion of Icarus crashing into the sea, W. H. Auden observes “how everything turns away / Quite leisurely from the disaster.” Bruegel’s painting shows a tragedy . . . . Continue Reading »

Pears Not Pixels

From the February 2014 Print Edition

Don’t be fooled by the slapstick comedy and the silly names, the labyrinthine plots that careen around and veer maddeningly toward irresolution and paranoia, the playful gags and the abundant nods to pop culture—or to stoner culture, for that matter. Thomas Pynchon writes serious . . . . Continue Reading »