“I’m bad, bad, bad, bad, bad/I’m nationwide.” — ZZ Top, “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide,” 1979 Robert Johnson met the devil at the crossroads, and sold his soul so he could master blues guitar. "“We are not old men," said Keith Richards, sneering at 1967 jury. "We are not worried about petty morals.” Nas used to relax by settling down to "watch a flick, illin’/And root for the villain." The iconography of the antihero has long held a prime spot in the history of American music.
Gangsta rap has exploited this phenomenon more fully than any other genre. And no gangsta rapper ever realized the antihero iconography more fully [...]
Romance fiction is widely reckoned to be a very low form of literature. Maybe the lowest, if we're not counting the writing at Groupon, or on Splenda packets. Romance fiction: probably the worst! An addictive, absurd, unintellectual literature, literature for nonreaders, literature for stupid people—literature for women! Books Just For Her!
Low or not, romance is by far the most popular and lucrative genre in American publishing, with over $1.35 billion in revenues estimated in 2010. That is a little less than twice the size of the mystery genre, almost exactly twice that of science fiction/fantasy, and nearly three times the size of the market for classic/literary fiction, according to [...]
You know when you’re in a panel discussion in New York and the topic turns to gentrification, and the audience gets very quiet while everyone prays there won’t be some guy who stands up and says something excruciating? L. J. Davis was that guy.
Davis, a writer whose career was long enough that a lot of people forgot who he was for stretches along the way, died last week at 70. He wrote four novels in the '60s and '70s and, over a longer span, produced a substantial body of cranky and annoyingly accurate journalism. (A Harper’s article that essentially called the 1987 market crash won him a [...]