Jon Baskin

  • Doubters

    In the New Republic yesterday, Isaac Chotiner expressed relief that Sunday night’s episode of True Detective had returned to its roots as a “police procedural,” praising one scene in Episode 7 by comparing it…

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  • Enlightened

    The naïve viewer of HBO’s remarkable and now-defunct tragicomedy, Enlightened, may be forgiven for assuming, having gone through the first four or five episodes, that the show’s title is meant as a joke at the…

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  • The Circle

    Dave Eggers’s The Circle is so carelessly written, so predictably plotted, and so thinly conceived that it threatens to make a mockery of anyone who would attempt seriously to review it. Granted it has…

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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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  • The Perspective of Terrence Malick

    The director of four films beginning with Badlands in 1973, Terrence Malick studied philosophy with Stanley Cavell at Harvard before abandoning a doctorate on Heidegger, Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein. A promising journalist and academic—as well as…

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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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