Changes in September

After more than three years, the Driftless Area Review is preparing to make some changes. These changes will be both large and small. Continue reading Changes in September

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The Art of Reviewing: Roland Barthes

After an overlong hiatus, “The Art of Reviewing” returns with a profile of Roland Barthes, exploring his the French semiotician and literary critic expanded the subject matter for reviewers, his influence of pop culture studies, and his usefulness in curatorial practice. Continue reading The Art of Reviewing: Roland Barthes

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What I’m Reading 2012 and Other Business

What I’m Reading 2012 Overview: I’m currently reading five books.  Each poses certain challenges (in some cases, self-imposed challenges) to me as a reader, reviewer, critic, historian, and aesthete.  While New Year’s Resolutions get broken seconds after they’re uttered, these challenges will form an informal backbone to my reading schedule.  As it stands, I want to increase the frequency of my blog posts from bimonthly to weekly.  (The same goes for my other blog, Coffee is for Closers.)  The positive responses from readers has really inspired me to do more. As you’ll see with these challenges, I want to “raise … Continue reading What I’m Reading 2012 and Other Business

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Critic’s Notebook: Unpopular Causes, Part IV

Nathan Rabin and the Countercanonical Critique The AV Club has carved out a niche of reputable pop cultural criticism.  Nathan Rabin has been profiled before in the Art of Reviewing.  It focused on his unique style and examined his ongoing series My Year of Flops.  Rabin’s bombastic style plays off his subject matter, whether it is a movie that bombed at the box-office or a hip hop review.  Rabin has expanded his critical eye to include country music (Nashville or Bust!) and pop ephemera (THEN! That’s What They Called Music). Movie flops, the NOW That’s What I Call Music! compilations, … Continue reading Critic’s Notebook: Unpopular Causes, Part IV

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The Art of Reviewing: Cintra Wilson (Part One)

Every blog needs a large-scale project. The Art of Reviewing will explore reviewing as an art form and as a valuable element to understanding society.  During this project, I will profile specific reviewers of merit.  Several specific cases also explore other facets of reviewing. Cintra Wilson Cintra Wilson was a columnist at Salon, retail reviewer in the New York Times Fashion & Style section (Critical Shopper), and lately political columnist (the C-Word), appearing in the New Haven Advocate, the Hartford Courant, and the Fairfield Weekly.  Wilson also authored the ferocious cultural commentary entitled A Massive Swelling: celebrity re-examined as a … Continue reading The Art of Reviewing: Cintra Wilson (Part One)

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The Art of Reviewing Special Edition(TM): The 20 Minute “Avatar” Review

Every blog needs a large-scale project. The Art of Reviewing will explore reviewing as an art form and as a valuable element to understanding society.  During this project, I will profile specific reviewers of merit.  Several specific cases also explore other facets of reviewing. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s making the rounds on Ye Olde Nettertubes.  It’s a twenty-minute review of James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar. Here’s the review, in two parts: *** COMMENTARY This review is a bit long and a bit cynical, but it makes a number of valid points.  It is an artful combination of pop … Continue reading The Art of Reviewing Special Edition(TM): The 20 Minute “Avatar” Review

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