Sitting Across From Bret Easton Ellis

You wonder about that NYU freshman kid in the purple sweatshirt and what his story is and whether, to be honest, he’d be more interesting than Bret Easton Ellis because Bret Easton Ellis has kind of just, well, given up, it seemed, which was a horrible thing to think about a guy that was sitting right in front of you…

How Busy Are You?

When people ask me how I’m doing, they don’t want to hear me ramble about an article I’m writing or a book I’m editing. They are asking how I am doing. And often, I don’t know. When I’m not working, I don’t feel entirely whole.

The Power Of Language

The ultimate purpose of language is not destructive but creative, and it is this very power of language which is a fundamental reality upon which any civilized society pivots. It is this reality, so self-evident and yet so fraught with implications, which attracted many of us to the study of words in the first place.

I Read So That I Don’t Die

Of ideas embalmed in books, Joyce wrote in Ulysses, “They are still. Once quick in the brains of men. Still: but an itch of death is in them, to tell me in my ear a maudlin tale, urge me to wreak their will.” The vitality, the urgency, of reading books is hard to comprehend for an uninterested observer.