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The Alan Rickman of American Letters

Arguably by Christopher Hitchens
There’s more to this guy than the assertion that women aren’t funny
Status: Too big to mail

MY THOUGHTS ON “ARGUABLY,” the latest from Christopher Hitchens, are now posted over at Fiction Advocate. Here’s a quick sample:

Erudition is what has always allowed us to forgive Hitchens his trespasses, or at least overlook them – much the way, as he writes, quite well, of Isaac Newton, “one has to admire someone who could dare to be wrong in such a beautiful way.” His British inflections don’t hurt either. Hitchens was naturalized as an American citizen in 2007 – in a “fuck off” to critics of his support for the Bush wars, the swearing-in was performed by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff – but he can still effectively open a piece of professional journalism with a sentence containing the words “daresay” and “overmuch.” And it actually serves as a functional insult when he coronates Prince Charles the “Prince of Piffle.” That eloquence and sly British charm make Hitchens enjoyable even, or especially, when he plays the villain, hewing out a space for him as the Alan Rickman of American letters.

Read the full review.


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Fiction Advocate Review: The Curfew

The Curfew by Jesse BallAFTER SAYING SEVERAL KIND WORDS ABOUT IT, Brian over at the Fiction Advocate has kindly offered up for trade (or just for free) “The Curfew” by Jesse Ball. Ball is a young writer who has been making his way in the literature business over the last five or six years. If you’ve never heard of him, you’ve definitely heard of the places that have published him: The Paris Review, The Boston Review, New Republic, Oberon and Best American Poetry 2006.

Of “The Curfew,” Brian writes:

Ball’s writing is spare and often stunning. With its odd proverbs, anachronistic language, and strict manners, it resembles a sinister children’s fable… If the definition of experimental literature is that “its politics are its aesthetics and vice versa,” then The Curfew is a stirring example.

Read the full review.

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