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Examined Life
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Reading Room

Essays by

Timothy Aubry

Timothy Aubry is a professor of English at Baruch College. His most recent book is Reading as Therapy: What Contemporary Fiction Does for Middle Class Americans (2010).

In Defense of Longing

This is the first column in the third round of Reading Room, a collective column on reading and life. In each round, the contributors respond […]

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Faces in the Crowd

While Sarah concludes that she enjoys reading in the company of others—though not in relation to “someone else’s desire”—I haven’t yet entirely disentangled reading from my romantic fantasies. That’s why, like Kate and Merton, like that pair I found so loathsome, I need to have other people around me.

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Nonessential Work

This is the fourth column in Reading Room, a biweekly collective column on reading and life. The column will go in rounds, with the four […]

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To Be Continued

I remember dancing to a Temptations song with my two-month-old son Julian in my arms, the late afternoon sun filling our living room, and thinking, This must be one of those quintessential joys-of-parenting moments.

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A Matter of Life and Death

The problem with marriage, we all know, is the endlessness of it. Once you’re married, you’ve significantly cut down the options, and it suddenly makes your life feel shorter—like now there’s a direct line between you and your own death.

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Sizing Up Oprah

Therapy, in all its forms, teaches us how to express our subjective experiences in a socially recognizable form, and so allows us to connect with others on the basis of our purportedly private difficulties and dilemmas. Some people pay thousands of dollars a year to learn these lessons; others watch “Oprah.”

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