Critic’s Notebook: The Wake without training wheels

Jack Burton: I don’t get this at all. I thought Lo Pan— David Lo Pan: Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to “get it!” Big Trouble in Little China (John Carpenter, 1986) Earlier in my life, I read Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses, all by James Joyce. This year I decided to read Finnegans Wake, a novel notorious for its inaccessibility. Like The Cantos by Ezra Pound, it is a text many know, few read, and less understand. While the Wake is difficult, this shouldn’t be seen as a … Continue reading Critic’s Notebook: The Wake without training wheels

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Critic’s Notebook: A Demanding Read, Part I (Fiction)

Years of experience has brought with it a fondness for the demanding read.  My reading selections are promiscuous, omnivorous, and ecumenical.  I’m an enthusiast for the Modern, the Experimental, and the Unclassifiable.  I also enjoy reading space fantasy novels published by the Black Library.  As a critic, I enjoy plumbing the depths of pop culture, high culture, and places in between. One of the experiences I enjoy I will call the Demanding Read.  This essay, the first part of two, will explore the Demanding Read in terms of fiction.  The second essay will focus on non-fiction.  Given that each reader … Continue reading Critic’s Notebook: A Demanding Read, Part I (Fiction)

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