While Daniel Lukes and I faced a number of curious challenges as we worked on the project that ultimately became our 2015 William T. Vollmann: A Critical Companion, I found among the most vexing the disentanglement of the myth of William T. Vollmann from the reality of his achievement. Both are oversized, so much so that they can stagger belief. The critics who had done the most extensive earlier work on his oeuvre, the great Larry McCaffery and the late Michael Hemmingson, offered both supportive words and helpful insights. Their writings were not just useful critical signposts, but dear companions at a point when it seemed no one else was interested in grappling with the tremendously fertile, book-producing singularity that is William T. Vollmann.
In our afternoon reading: revisiting a classic work by Steve Reich, exploring the literature of Florida, and more.
In our morning reading: Jesmyn Ward revisited “The Great Gatsby,” interviews with Sheila Heti and William T. Vollmann, and more.
In our afternoon reading: an interview with William T. Vollmann, exploring the overlap between zines and technology, and much more.
In our afternoon reading: new nonfiction from Lidia Yuknavitch, previously unpublished fiction from Clarice Lispector, Gabby Bess on race and riot grrrl, and much more.
In the midst of a By the Book interview for the New York Times, William T. Vollmann takes a moment to discuss his appreciation of the work of Danilo Kis, author of The Encyclopedia of the Dead and A Tomb for Boris Davidovich. His interrelated characters, who occasionally make cameo appearances in each other’s stories, play vivid parts in a Stalinist drama whose grim vastness invariably swallows them up. My novel “Europe Central” was homage to Kis. Unfortunately, I tend […]
New writing from Rebecca Solnit, Justin Taylor talks William T. Vollmann, listening to Bedhead’s discography, tour stories from Mike Kinsella, and much more.
Interviews with Eileen Myles and Amber Sparks, a look at the work of William T. Vollmann, Rebecca Mead takes issue with the concept of “relatability,” adapting YA novels as comics, and more.