Imagine a disjunctive moment of historic importance—at a stroke of a clock, present and future are irreparably torn from the anchor of the past. In the…
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Essay by Ted Gioia In the opening pages of 1Q84, Aomame is rushing to make an appointment. Her taxi is stuck in a traffic jam on a Tokyo expressway. The…
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Essay by Ted Gioia Here is a reasonable rule of thumb for sci-fi readers: if the movie came first, then you can skip the book. But if the book came…
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Essay by Ted Gioia Early in 2007, the Colombian magazine Semana asked a panel of experts to select the 100 best novels in Spanish published during the…
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I grieved when the hero of Paul Auster's novel died on page 180—but especially so because this novel is almost 900 pages long. How would I manage…
When literary critic Wyatt Mason recently ridiculed A Canticle for Leibowitz in the “Sentences” blog he runs for Harper’s, he was amazed at the heated…
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What do you want for Christmas? How about something scary? That might seem peculiar to holiday revelers today, but in Victorian England, the Christmas…
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I was speaking to an audience in England some years ago, when I was asked: “Why are American sports so violent?” To which I mounted a lukewarm defense…
I thought I knew every kind of horror story. If you made a taxonomy of terrifying tales, you would start, of course, with the ghost story—perhaps the…
Who cares about the plot? Obviously not many people in academia . . . I still recall a college professor making fun of me when I complained that our…
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The master of existential mysteries offers up one of his finest works
I’m tempted to describe A Maggot, John Fowles’s peculiar 1985 novel, as a “first contact” story. Fans of science fiction are familiar with these tales…
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