Bites: Decent thoughts on today’s fiction (I know!), Bruni is replaced, Gladwell’s Mockingbird, Kubrick’s unmade work, middle-class “slave labor”

By Willa A. Cmiel

Lee Seigel for the Washington Post on the End of the Episode.  It’s a greatly informed, well-put essay on changes in American fiction.  (Finally a good essay on contemporary fiction.  Seigel is critical but not raging, constructive but unassuming):  “Are you a Narrative or Episodic personality?… Or do you think that you live, like Huck Finn and every other picaresque hero, from isolated minute to isolated minute – episode to episode – and that far from adding up to a coherent tale, your life is ‘a tale told by an idiot… signifying nothing’?”

  • A writer at The Millions reacts to Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker piece on To Kill a Mockingbird. I hope we keep talking about this book forever and ever.
  • Although most people usually dismiss it as a “necessary evil,” finally, here’s someone who agrees that the unpaid internship thing (policy? culture? standard?) is out of control.  John Elledge at The Week sees it for what it isa really big fucking problem.  He cites specifically the media, but I see it raging all over New York, in many fields.