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Posts Tagged ‘The Oxford American’

What We’re Loving: Screwball, Gothic, and Southern, to Name a Few

December 6, 2013 | by

HisGirlFridaylarge

“We all find we cannot take on any more patients. We are all waiting for calls from superiors, pick up the phones each time hoping it is one of them, then find it is only another patient. The superiors of course think of us as patients and dread our calls.” Last Sunday I spent the hours between five and eleven A.M. finishing Renata Adler’s 1983 novel Pitch Dark, and they were the best four solid hours of my week. Thanks to NYRB Classics, which recently reissued Pitch Dark and Adler’s earlier novel, Speedboat, Adler is coming to be recognized as one of the great novelists of our time, on the strength of two slim books. Until now I had avoided Pitch Dark because it has the lesser reputation, and because Speedboat seemed to me so perfect, I couldn’t imagine lightning striking twice. But Pitch Dark—the story of a breakup, and of a solitary vacation gone awry—has all the suspense of a mystery, all the wit and companionability of an essay, and all the satirical worldliness I loved in Speedboat. Adler should be required reading for M.F.A students, at the considerable risk of shutting young writers down for lack of anything to say. The rest of us can read her for pleasure. —Lorin Stein

When you think about it, there really are a startling number of remarriages in screwball comedies: His Girl Friday, My Favorite Wife, The Philadelphia Story, The Awful Truth—and those are just the films in which Cary Grant ends up with an ex-wife. The philosopher Stanley Cavell takes on this phenomenon in 1981’s Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage, and argues that the plot device was more than just a way to flirt with the Hays Code. As he writes, “Can human beings change? The humor, and the sadness, of remarriage comedies can be said to result from the fact that we have no good answer to that question.” —Sadie O. Stein

The Fargo Moorhead Observer reports that a Fargo man has been arrested for clearing snow with a flamethrower. The man stated that he was simply “fed up with battling the elements” and that he did not possess the willpower necessary to “move four billion tons of whitebullsh-t.” —John Jeremiah Sullivan Read More »

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Vote for TPR in the Tournament of Lit Mags!

April 4, 2012 | by

Final 4 Bracket

Dear readers,

This is a matter of honor. If you love and believe in The Paris Review, now is the time to show what our fans are made of. We are currently in the Final Four of the Bill and Dave’s Cocktail Hour Tournament of Literary Magazines.

As they explain,

“[Oxford American] will now take on another program with a shining pedigree, The Paris Review, in what promises to be a battle of titans. The surprises this year are all on the other side of the bracket. Many thought that the Georgia program had grown too old and could never return to its glory days under coach Lindberg, but their execution has been flawless, and they play a measured style that has everyone buzzing about the old days. The real Cinderella story of the tourney, however, has been Ecotone, a tiny program that, thanks in part to the recruiting pull of recent grad (and power forward) Edith Pearlman, has made a surprising run, littering the courts with higher seeds.“

You know what to do. (If you don’t, it’s vote in comments.) You gotta believe.

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