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Posted inArt

The Lonely Books That No One Borrows

What is the fate of a library book that never gets checked out? Does it stay in the library anyway, holding fast in its place, waiting for someone to borrow it? Or does it eventually get cast off, donated to a thrift or used bookstore or incorporated into the collection of a place like Brooklyn’s Reanimation Library? And what does it say about the book itself, that no one has ever wanted to borrow and read it? Is it a failure of its form?

Posted inBooks

The Work of Fiction in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Alexandra Chasin’s “Brief”

Alexandra Chasin’s Brief, an innovative narrative in the form of an iPad app, is “Exhibit A” in the case that the novel is finding exciting new ways to reinvent itself after the digital turn. Brief, the first novel-app of its kind, would make a rich and wonderful addition to any syllabus or reading list on appropriation, experimental fiction, new media literature, visual studies, violence and representation, or text and image, and I hope in these “brief” paragraphs to adumbrate some of the reason why.

Posted inBooks

Steve Martin Attempts to Skewer the Art World & Fails

You may know Steve Martin from being one of our time’s defining comedians, actors and celebrity figures. But along with those first few titles, the man is also a renowned collector of contemporary art, as well as a novelist and a playwright. These pursuits could be called hobbies if they didn’t require quite so much dedication. Martin’s An Object of Beauty (2010), his third novel, attempts to combine the actor’s sidelines in writing and art into a narrative showpiece that aims a satirical skewer at the art world. Unfortunately, the punch never lands. Object of Beauty is too simplistic and editorializing for an art world-savvy audience and too limping for readers just looking for a punchy narrative.