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The Transposition Workout

On page 19 of the 38-page-long The Albertine Workout (that is, the dead center), Carson declares, “It is always tricky, the question whether to read an author's work in light of his life or not.” And really, isn’t it, though?

Joyce’s Sublime Depravity

James Joyce’s Ulysses perches atop any number of Greatest Novel lists, but sit today’s average reader down with the tome and the first few pages will ratify its current reputation as “difficult,” “weird,” or even “impenetrable.”

Continental Divine

About halfway along, just as we’re getting the hang of Luke Goebel’s wild and voluble debut—not so much a novel as a narrative kaleidoscope, putting a few essential shapes and colors through one tumble after another—we arrive at a whole new configuration. We come to the peyote trip.

When Being Bad Is Good

“Bad feminist” is a self-deprecating term for what ends up sounding like a very appealing sort of person. A bad feminist, by Roxane Gay’s description in her eponymous essay collection, is someone who supports fair treatment of women but who doesn’t necessarily agree with every feminism-associated or feminist-espoused idea, someone who believes in certain principles, yet acts against them sometimes, and with varying degrees of self-awareness.

Brazil’s Literary Hand Grenades

Because of this year’s World Cup, cities that had once been footnotes in our consciousness have suddenly gained in solidity and weight. Porto Alegre, in particular, one of the World Cup host cities alongside Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, has skyrocketed into the international consciousness.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2014

All Issues