A Threshold Is an Opening

A Threshold Is an Opening “GRAB THE CLOSEST BOOK to you, turn to page 56 and post the 5th sentence as your status. Don’t mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your status.” This is the prompt issued by International Book Week, an unmanned internet meme that careens through social media once a […]

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor DEAR LARB, I would not normally complain about any review of my work, but Jennifer Peterson’s review in the LARB of my essay collection, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, crosses the line between fair comment and misrepresentation, and I would like the record to be corrected. Ms. Peterson makes two central claims about […]

Paradoxes of Incarnation: Medieval Allegory Revisited

Paradoxes of Incarnation: Medieval Allegory Revisited THE LAST FEW CENTURIES of literary history have not been kind to the genre of allegory. “Allegory,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in the early 19th century, “is but a translation of abstract notions into a picture-language which is itself nothing but an abstraction from objects of the senses.” To […]

LARB Radio Hour: Liska Jacobs’s “Catalina”: A Crash and Burn Tale for Our Times; Plus Chris Kraus’s “Video Green”

LARB Radio Hour: Liska Jacobs’s “Catalina”: A Crash and Burn Tale for Our Times; Plus Chris Kraus’s “Video Green” Author Liska Jacobs joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss her heralded first novel Catalina, narrated in vibrant prose by a young woman destined for a fall during an outing with friends to the […]

Computation de Texte

Computation de Texte WHEN DOES TECHNOLOGY cease to seem like magic, and become more like a dark art? As our dependency on new media grows, our fascination wanes, and a collective anxiety begins to take hold. In mass culture, it’s easy to spot the symptoms: high-tech horror shows like Black Mirror or the emergence of […]

The Trouble with Big Science

The Trouble with Big Science IN THE LATE WINTER of 2013, Eli Broad stopped by the Broad Institute, a nonprofit scientific research center and his namesake. He had just announced that he was increasing his philanthropic gift to $700 million. Those of us working at the Institute that day — I was a data analyst at […]

All Snowflakes Must Melt: “Blade Runner 2049”

All Snowflakes Must Melt: “Blade Runner 2049” CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED and much hyped, Blade Runner 2049 has not been a box office success. Neither was its predecessor, Blade Runner, released in 1982 — although it became a cult classic, rescued by the rise of global cyberpunk, scholarly fascination with its cinematography, and the many revisions (US […]