The Saddest Symphony: Teju Cole’s Open City

I got excited about Teju Cole’s debut novel Open City as soon as I read Publishers Weekly’s ecstatic starred review: a young psychiatrist “wanders Manhattan, pondering everything from Goya and the novels of J.M. Coetzee to the bankruptcy of Tower Records”? Yes please. Coetzee is one of my favorite novelists, Goya’s portrait of Manuel Osorio Manrique [...]

Of Mad Men and Melodrama

By now, Daniel Mendelsohn’s takedown of Mad Men in the New York Review of Books has become a regular internet scandale. The show had it coming—if only because the critical consensus has been too monolithic for such an attack not to feel overdue.  It’s fun, I suspect, to be the bubble-burster; and while Mendelsohn’s criticisms [...]

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