Lyric Poetry On and Off the Street
"Lyric poetry, like other forms of cultural production which re-invent or re-visit aspects of someone's biography, implicitly addresses a widespread fear in the culture at large that the inner life no longer exists. . . . Other lives, rather than our own, give us access to ourselves; identification and affiliation replace the worship of singularity."
An Interview with Robert D. Richardson
"Biography is at least as old as Plutarch, and seems to be of permanent interest. Every bookstore and every library has a biography section. People buy biographies and they read them. The literary monograph, which almost nobody reads, dates back only to the founding of the MLA in the 1890s."
Memoir: "Mexico City"
"In the cooler late afternoons we played to the rhythms of the adults who argued vociferously, raising their voices and gesticulating over real or imagined human travail in their own lives or not . . . . Once in a while, when my grandmother caught me watching and listening, she would turn to me, pausing from the debate at hand, and with a slight smile ask, 'farshteysh?'"
Fiction: "Billy Tipton Day"
Nathan Alling Long
Pynchon's Coast: Inherent Vice and the Twilight of the Spatially Specific
"Perhaps Pynchon's general refusal of interiority for many characters indicates not an inattention to individual psychology or . . . authorial incompetence. An equally plausible alternative is that Pynchon habitually eschews a close focus on individual psychology because it is simply not as interesting as broader social systems, either as an intellectual problem or as an aesthetic object."