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Literature

Stan Lee, Generational Alienation, and Spider-man: An Aspiring Novelist Becomes a Comics Legend

Stan Lee, Generational Alienation, and Spider-man: An Aspiring Novelist Becomes a Comics Legend

Grateful to share this reflection by Wenatchee the Hatchet: Just as the world (in Marvel comics) may know Spider-man yet not know Peter Parker, the world may likewise know that Stanley Lieber was Stan Lee, whether or not the world ever knew who Stanley Lieber was. The man Stan Lee, who died this week, became world-famous […]

To Dissolve the Line Between Man and Machine: Reflections on Cyberpunk and Suffering in the Meatspace

To Dissolve the Line Between Man and Machine: Reflections on Cyberpunk and Suffering in the Meatspace

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” ​(Neuromancer, pg. 3) If I self-reflect on how geeky my hobbies are, I’m nothing if not consistent. For the past year or so, some friends and I have been meeting in a basement after work and playing a fantastic Dungeons […]

Preface by Chad Bird to <i>Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle</i>

Preface by Chad Bird to Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle

A huge thank you to Chad Bird for this eloquent preface to our recent republication of Robert Farrar Capon’s Exit 36. Order your copy today! In the early days of December, I crawl up into my attic, step over a couple of rafters, and take a deep breath to blow a year’s worth of dust off a […]

“The Beauty of the Dream Vanished”: <i>Frankenstein</i>, the Fall, and the Failures of Romanticism

“The Beauty of the Dream Vanished”: Frankenstein, the Fall, and the Failures of Romanticism

Mary Shelley’s cautionary tale Frankenstein turned two hundred years old this year, accompanied by essays, conferences, and celebrations of its enduring influence. Many of these have focused on what is most often taken as the book’s main theme: a warning against pursuing scientific progress and invention heedless of social cost or ethical responsibility. While ambition channeled through […]

In Praise of Confusion and John L'Heureux

In Praise of Confusion and John L’Heureux

John L’Heureux’s latest short story, published recently in the New Yorker, tells of a woman who wants a sign from God…and receives one, just not in the way she expected. You can read the whole thing here. It’s called “The Rise and Rise of Annie Clark.” Annie, a “capital-C Catholic,” moves through life trying to measure […]

Fear and the Reality of Horror, Part 1

Fear and the Reality of Horror, Part 1

Is there a place for fear in Christianity? And if there is, what value does the horror genre bring to the Christian life? To answer these questions we must uncover what sort of world it is we inhabit, and we mustn’t be too hasty in presuming to already know. For if the world is a […]

Eleanor Oliphant Is (Not) Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant Is (Not) Completely Fine

I’ve just finished the novel Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Based on the stamp of approval from Reese Witherspoon on the front cover, I expected it to be a fluffy airplane read. My adorable-celebrity-as-book-recommender stereotype is misdirected, apparently, because this was not a story of a suburban mom “addicted” to shopping and eyelash […]

Chewing Tinfoil, Wanting God: Christian Wiman’s <i>He Held Radical Light</i>

Chewing Tinfoil, Wanting God: Christian Wiman’s He Held Radical Light

What is it we want when we can’t stop wanting? Christian Wiman’s new essays resist review. Reviews of art are always a strange effort, anyway. An exhibition of paintings or a play or a concert or a novel or a poem, all are experiences, experiences of difference—when our action is displaced but our hearts and […]

What If My Whole Life Has Been Wrong?

What If My Whole Life Has Been Wrong?

A stirring face-off with existential dread, by Eric Youngblood: An unopened bill still must be paid. I suspect we have all realized it to be so. Even though your mortgage statement sits stacked and unexamined on top of bills from the water company, Chase Manhattan Bank, and Comcast, none of them can go untended to […]

On Our Bookshelf: From the Déjà Vu Issue

On Our Bookshelf: From the Déjà Vu Issue

If you get déjà vu scanning this list, it would be no surprise…you may have encountered some (but perhaps not all!) of these titles on this site. As compiled for the latest issue of The Mockingbird, these are the books we’ve been reading and re-reading this summer: The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison: […]

Gravity, Grace, Weight, Love

Gravity, Grace, Weight, Love

In one of her strange and gleaming essays in The Givenness of Things, Marilynne Robinson describes grace this way: ‘Grace’ is a word without synonyms, a concept without paraphrase. It might seem to have distinct meanings, aesthetic and theological, but these are aspects of one thing—an alleviation, whether of guilt, of self-interest, or of limitation. […]

Death, Critique, Heaven, and Hell

Death, Critique, Heaven, and Hell

Last spring, I finished my undergrad, where I drug myself through a severely disoriented and disorienting thesis. Among the many lessons I learned in the process, I discovered something that deeply hindered my academic writing: I hated it. This revelation surprised me because I entered that research project believing I liked it and did it […]