How They Think

Okay, I know it’s wrong to respond to clickbait, but—the thing that pisses me off about this is that it’s somehow a humblebrag to say you were inspired by a great book of literature. Because we know that the only reason someone would bother finishing a book like Infinite Jest, much less try to share the excitement of reading it with others, is out of a stuffy desire to impress someone else with your intellectual might.

It never seems to cross Alexis Kleinman’s mind that people read great literature because . . . to them that’s more fun than reading Harry Potter. That there can be motives other than bludgeoning your friends with your own awesomeness. I don’t really know if this person actually thinks this way, but if so . . . scary.

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As my friend said to someone who oversaw him reading Moby-Dick and remarked that it was boring, “Maybe you’re boring.”

Hilariously, Kleinman’s sloppy thesis was disproved by the aggregated results, which offered a healthy showing for popular and literary titles alike.

What a complete imbecile I could not agree with you more in this instance.


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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