Jon Baskin

  • Out of Good Reasons

    Elena Ferrante, a pseudonymous Italian author about whom little is known personally, has in the past two years become a household name in American literary circles. The first of her seven novels, published in…

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  • Adult Conversation

    God, listen to me! Or don’t. –A. O. Scott As you may have heard by now, A. O. Scott wrote an article earlier this month for the New York Times Magazine entitled “The Death of…

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  • Coming to Terms

    Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace, the two most important American writers of their era, both grew up in the Midwest. Franzen describes his childhood in Webster Groves, Missouri as having unfolded “in the…

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  • Conserving the Novel

    In Issue 9 of n+1, the critic (and UCLA English professor) Mark McGurl describes the problem facing the contemporary novel this way: What should the novel do once consciousness has been physically “explained”? What…

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  • Steroids, Baseball, America

    I grew up in a leafy residential neighborhood less than a mile from Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs. All my friends—virtually everyone I knew—were Cubs fans. If there are tics, habits…

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  • Granta’s Chicago Issue

    The London-based Granta “magazine of new writing” has devoted its 108th issue to the city of Chicago. The special issue, whose release was celebrated with a week of local events in September, promises a tour of…

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  • Death is Not the End

    David Foster Wallace, who hanged himself in his home last September, wrote about authenticity, self-consciousness and the pursuit of happiness in America. It became a commonplace and then a cliché and then almost a…

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