Alexandra Cannon | lit crit
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lit crit Tag

This Side of Paradise

Fitzgerald is tough to write about because he’s his own league. Might as well admit that right now. His writing is often so beyond imitation that at first blush, it’s easy to make the knee-jerk conclusion that there isn’t anything to take home. In some...

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The Gadfly

It was Euripides who said “cleverness is not wisdom.” When it comes to creative writing, this is probably doubly true. Novels that are in love with how clever they are are unbearable. Trying too hard to be clever with the reader (i.e. trying too hard...

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A Brief History of Seven Killings

I’ll start by confirming what you probably already heard: page-wise, it isn’t brief. The paperback version clocks in at just south of 700 pages. But unlike other reviews you might have read, I don’t share the sentiment that this is a huge problem. I interpret...

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The Japanese Lover

Kill your darlings.   History appears to have forgotten who said it first. Most commonly, it's attributed to Faulkner, though some say Welty, or even Wilde. Regardless of who came up with it, I'm sure it's a phrase that will live forever, because there will never a time...

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Naked Lunch

By a happy accident, I wound up reading Naked Lunch in the way I think the author intended it to be read, which is to say entirely unprepared for what it is. This was my fault, of course: I was researching the Beat generation and...

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Orlando

For obvious reasons, Orlando is often regarded as Virginia Woolf’s most creative work. The story begins with the protagonist, Orlando, a lovelorn young Elizabethan nobleman who has become enamored with poetry, and ends three hundred years later with the same Orlando —now married— a thirty-eight...

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