Literature

Links: Pynchon, Marissa Mayer, Larry Summers, Finance, Blogging

I have a bit of a backlog here, but really what’s so important about being timely with these things? Who cares if many of these came out in the end of August…it’s been a busy semester. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Pavlov…

Links: Economics, Breaking Bad, the Moon, Entrepreneurship, Albert Murray, Etc.

Shockingly, it’s difficult to keep up a blog while finishing a Ph.D., designing a new course, and looking for jobs. I have some drafts of substantive posts that I hope to polish up and publish soon. For now, some more…

Reality Bites as the Source for Infinite Jest?

Robert Harrison’s recent Entitled Opinions episode about David Foster Wallace reminded me of an interesting coincidence I discovered last year.1 In 1994, two years before the publication of David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus Infinite Jest, the generation X cult classic…

A Sonnet for Morgenbesser: Dear Astrophil, Love Stella

Two summers ago, I sat in on a wonderful introductory poetry course taught by John Whittier-Ferguson. Among the poems we read was Sir Philip Sidney’s sonnet Astrophil and Stella 63 (“O Grammar rules…”). In this sonnet sequence,1 Astrophil is less…

Interesting Articles: Humanities Make Money, The Purchase of Instagram, Kierkegaard, and More

UCLA English professor Robert Watson writes a very interesting article about the economics of higher education: Bottom Line Shows Humanities Really Do Make Money I have a good deal to say about the misleading arguments often made about the cost…

Interesting Articles: The Dickens/Dostoevsky Hoax, the Mars Rover, Jason Collins, Janet Malcolm, Einstein’s Hoagies

If you haven’t read Eric Naiman’s fascinating article about the hoax of Dostoevsky meeting Dickens yet, you should. (It’s a long but fun read; give yourself time to enjoy it.) A great New Yorker article on NASA’s Curiosity rover to…

Allusion and Undertones in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist

I wrote in my introductory post that I am ambivalent about much of contemporary fiction. Well, it’s wonderful to come across as singular a counterexample as Mohsin Hamid’s beautiful novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist. This is the sort of work that…