Tape for the Turn of the Year: Conversations with and about Daniel Wenk


Recorded by Joseph Tabbi. A week in the life of the artist.

Paranoid Modernity and the Diagnostics of Cultural Theory


A review of John Farrell’s magnificent Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau, in light of contemporary literary criticism: Where Brian McHale declares an end to postmodernism, and where many discount paranoia as a passing literary interest, reviewer Tim Melley sees postmodern paranoia everywhere. As long as corporations are regarded by law as ‘individuals’ and conspiracy is the preferred way of understanding political and social systems, it seems that we’ll remain in the longue duree of the postmodern moment.

Editors' Introduction to "Real Worlds"


Editors Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin introduce a group of essays on games that exceed the bounds of the tabletop playing session, the game console, or the computer screen - games that emerge out of, take place in, or encroach on, the real world.

Middle Spaces: Media and the Ethics of Infinitely Demanding


Simon Critchley’s study of ethics has been prominently reviewed by literary and cultural theorists, though most treatments accept the premise that ethical relations are primarily among people, that ethics depends mainly on intersubjective relations. This review by Daniel Punday resituates “Infinitely Demanding” in a networked context, one that is constructed by “media, by global flows, and by the larger network swarms which themselves take on an identity.” For Punday, an ethics for our time is best found, not by the study of identities and localities, but rather by authors of contemporary fiction such as Jonathan Letham, Susan Daitch, Ishmael Reed, and Toni Cade Bambara.

Every Game a Story


Corvus Elrod extends Bruno Faidutti’s claim that all games tell stories by making the counter-intuitive argument that board games like Chess and Go are more effective story vehicles than RPGs.

Why Make Games That Make Stories?


Jesper Juul argues that James Wallis’s focus on definitions in his intervention into the story/game debate doesn’t give the experience of story - or game - its due.

Utopia's Doubles


Nichoas Spencer argues for the importance of “anarchistic and spatial factors” in twentieth-century utopian thought despite the resistance to them in the Marxist texts under review by Brown, DeKoven, Jameson, and Puchner.

Parasitic Fiction


Stephen Burn considers Tom LeClair’s recent novel through the lens of the latter’s own critical work on postmodern fiction, while also excavating the novel’s relation to Faulkner’s tale of racial empire building, Absalom, Absalom!

Home: A Conversation with Richard Powers and Tom LeClair


Scott Hermanson presents a dialogue he conducted with novelists Richard Powers and Tom LeClair, at the University of Cincinnati in 2005. Moderated by Hermanson, the novelists discuss the intricacies of writing about nature, the role of history in the novel, and their fictions’ use of imitative form.

Either You're With Us and Against Us: Charles Bernstein's Girly Man, 9-11, and the Brechtian Figure of the Reader


Tim Peterson brilliantly lays out for us how Charles Bernstein’s Girly Man represents the mobilization of queer rhetoric, iconoclastic values, and an implied notion of the family in the figure of the Girly Man.