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Matthew Cheney
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Matthew Cheney

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"Anti-Fragile" by Nick Mamatas
As a little addendum to my post about the somewhat narrow aesthetics of Ben Marcus's New American Stories  anthology, let me point you to Nick Mamatas's "Anti-Fragile" , a story that does pretty much everything I was hoping to find somewhere in New American...
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Matthew Cheney

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Advice
Stephen Dixon: Good advice for writers: Write very hard, keep the prose lively and original, never sell out, never overexcuse yourself why you're not writing, never let a word of yours be edited unless you think the editing is helping that work, never despa...
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Matthew Cheney

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<i>A Little Life</i> by Hanya Yanagihara
Wrenching . I don't know a better word for Hanya Yanagihara's novel  A Little Life , published earlier this year by Doubleday. Heart-wrenching , yes. But more than that. Not just the heart. The brain, the stomach, all the organs and muscles. It is a full-bo...
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Wedding Days
When the news of the Supreme Court's decision  on marriage equality was announced, a friend who'd just heard a snippet of news texted me: "Is it true?" "Yes," I replied. "My mothers' marriage must now be recognized in all 50 states." This is true and wonder...
This is true and wonderful. As others have pointed out, the ruling lets marriage just be marriage, without the modifiers that have dominated the discourse of the last fifteen years or so — it is no longer gay marriage or same-sex marriage or traditional marriage, just marriage.
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<i>The Dylanologists</i> by David Kinney
So when you ask some of your questions, you're asking them to a person who's long dead. You're asking them to a person that doesn't exist. But people make that mistake about me all the time.  —Bob Dylan, 2012 If you've ever spent any time around any sort of...
So when you ask some of your questions, you're asking them to a person who's long dead. You're asking them to a person that doesn't exist. But people make that mistake about me all the time. —Bob Dylan, 2012. If you've ever spent any time around any sort of fan community, most of the people you ...
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<i>Sense8</i>
It's possible that Sense8 , the new Netflix series from the Wachowskis, is the worst thing ever to happen to humanity. I don't know, because from the second episode it put its hooks into me so deeply that my critical, skeptical mind could not keep up. Certa...
It's possible that Sense8, the new Netflix series from the Wachowskis, is the worst thing ever to happen to humanity. I don't know, because from the second episode it put its hooks into me so deeply that my critical, skeptical mind could not keep up. Certain elements of this show appealed to me ...
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Have him in circles
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Matthew Cheney

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Notes on the Aesthetics of <i>New American Stories</i>
Ben Marcus's 2004 anthology The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories  is a wonderfully rich collection for a book of its type. I remember first reading it with all the excitement of discovery — even the stories I didn't like seemed somehow invigorating...
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Gratis & Libre, or, Who Pays for Your Bandwidth?
via Philip Taylor, Flickr In talking with Robin DeRosa about open educational resources (OER), a lot of my skepticism was focused on (and continues to be focused on) the question of who pays for it. If I'm not just skeptical but also cynical about a lot of ...
In talking with Robin DeRosa about open educational resources (OER), a lot of my skepticism was focused on (and continues to be focused on) the question of who pays for it. If I'm not just skeptical but also cynical about a lot of the techno-utopian rhetoric that seems to fuel both the OER ...
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Return of the Sandman Meditations
Boomtron just published my latest Sandman Meditation, this one on Chapter Two of The Wake . "Sandman Meditation?" you say. "That sounds ... vaguely familiar..." In July 2010, I started writing a series of short pieces called Sandman Meditations in which I p...
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What's in a Book
I recently bought a miscellaneous set of Virginia Woolf books, a collection that seems to have been put together by a scholar or (in Woolfian parlance) a common reader during the 1960s and 1970s. The set included some volumes useful for my research purposes...
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Rhodesia and American Paramilitary Culture
When the suspect in the  attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina was identified, the authorities circulated a photograph of him wearing a jacket adorned with the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and post- UDI   Rhodesia...
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On Christopher Lee
Over at Press Play, I have a brief text essay about and a video tribute to Christopher Lee , who died on June 7 at the age of 93. Here's the opening of the essay: Christopher Lee was the definitive working actor. His career was long, and he appeared in more...
Christopher Lee was the definitive working actor. His career was long, and he appeared in more films than any major performer in the English-speaking world — over 250. What distinguishes him, though, and should make him a role model for anyone seeking a life on stage or screen, is not that he ...
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Have him in circles
212 people
SASHI PRAKASH's profile photo
Paul Raymont's profile photo
Jerrold Tanner's profile photo
Monica Meira Vaughan's profile photo
Justin Howe's profile photo
Kevin Crowley's profile photo
Matthew Kressel's profile photo
Evans Adongo's profile photo
Meghan McCarron's profile photo
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Ph.D. student at University of New Hampshire
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I am a teacher and writer currently based in New Hampshire.

For more information, see my blog, The Mumpsimus.
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