Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 16: June 16–July 15, 2021

Heat Dome over Pacific Northwest, Summer 2021

Nuclear and Environmental

Kai Heron, “Extinction Isn’t the Worst That Can Happen.”

Christopher Flavelle and Kalen Goodluck, “Dispossessed, Again: Climate Change Hits Native Americans Especially Hard.”

Sarah Miller, “All the Right Words on Climate Have Already Been Said.”

Brad Plumer, Jack Healy, Winston Choi-Schagrin, and Henry Fountain, “Climate Change Batters the West before Summer Even Begins.”

Jeffrey Insko, “Line 5: Dismantling as World-Building” and “How to Dream beyond Oil.”

Jon Hay, review of Infrastructures of Apocalypse: American Literature and the Nuclear Complex, by Jessica Hurley.

James Temple, “The Lurking Threat to Solar Power’s Growth.” Hmm.

Dan Egan, “The Climate Crisis Haunts Chicago’s Future: A Battle between a Great City and a Great Lake.”

Jacob Darwin Hamblin, The Wretched Atom: America’s Global Gamble with Peaceful Nuclear Technology.

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Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 15: May 16–June 15, 2021

Nuclear and Environmental

Coral Davenport, “The Keystone XL Pipeline Project Has Been Terminated.”

Nadja Popovich, “How Severe Is the Western Drought? See For Yourself.”

Dan Sinykin, “The End of the World as We Know It.”

Clifford Krauss and Peter Eavis, “Climate Activists Defeat Exxon in Push for Clean Energy.”

Stanley Reed and Claire Moses, “A Dutch Court Rules That Shell Must Step Up Its Climate Change Efforts.”

Lisa Friedman, “Biden Administration Defends Huge Alaska Oil Drilling Project.”

Paquito Bernard, “It’s Time to Tackle Climate Change in all University Disciplines.”


Coronavirus

Morgan Meis, “Timothy Morton’s Hyper-Pandemic.”

The Editorial Board of the New York Times, “America Is Failing Its Moral Test on Vaccines.”

Michael D. Shear, Julian E. Barnes, Carl Zimmer and Benjamin Mueller, “Biden Orders Intelligence Inquiry into Origins of Virus.”

Zeynep Tufekci, “Checking Facts Even If One Can’t.”

Apoorva Mandavilli, “Immunity to the Coronavirus May Persist for Years, Scientists Find.”

And Alexa Lardieri, “Florida, Alabama No Longer Reporting Daily Coronavirus Data.”

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“‘Is an Archive Enough?’: Megatextual Debris in the Work of Rachel Blau DuPlessis” in Genre

My essay, “‘Is an Archive Enough?’: Megatextual Debris in the Work of Rachel Blau DuPlessis,” has been published in Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture 54, no. 1 (April 2021): 139–65. This issue is the first of two special issues on “Big, Ambitious Novels by Twenty-First-Century Women,” edited by Courtney Jacobs and James Zeigler. The second issue will be released in July 2021. I also have an interview with DuPlessis forthcoming in boundary 2. I’ve included an abstract of my essay below, along with a table of contents.

I am particularly proud of this essay, as I wrote it predominantly during the summer of 2020–the height of lockdown–and during which we had no childcare and I couldn’t access the library nor my campus office, including its books. Lots of people to thank, consequently, but particularly Racheal Fest, Courtney Jacobs and James Zeigler for their hard work putting this together during an incredibly difficult year, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Dawn Baker, Hartwick’s interlibrary loan librarian. (There are more acknowledgments on the first page of my essay.) This essay is also the second published chapter from my work in progress, Too Big to Read: The Megatext in the Twenty-First-Century. For other related work on megatexts and hyperarchivalism, see:

“Toward a Theory of the Megatext: Speculative Criticism and Richard Grossman’s ‘Breeze Avenue Working Paper.’”

“Reading Now and Again: Hyperarchivalism and Democracy in Ranjan Ghosh and J. Hillis Miller’s Thinking Literature.”

“Coda: Writing Briefly about Really Big Things.”

“The Time of Megatexts: Dark Accumulation and Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar.”

“The Megatext and Neoliberalism.”


Abstract

In the twenty-first century, digital technologies have made it possible for writers and artists to create massively unreadable works through computational and collaborative composition, what the author has elsewhere called megatexts. The ubiquity of texts appearing across media that are quite literally too big to read—from experimental novels to television, film, and video games—signals that the megatext is an emergent form native to the era of neoliberalism. But what happens to other long forms, such as the twentieth-century long poem, when written in an era of megatextuality? Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s work, including Drafts (1987–2013) and Traces, with Days (2017–), readily suggests itself as a case study for thinking through a megatextual impulse in the twenty-first-century long poem. Though her work is plainly indebted to its modernist precursors (H.D., Pound, Williams, etc.) while disavowing at every level of its composition a patriarchal will toward totality, DuPlessis’s various experiments in the long poem are also thoroughly contemporary and respond to the economic, military, political, and environmental transformations of the neoliberal era by drawing upon and producing fragmentary, megatextual debris. This essay positions DuPlessis’s work amidst a larger twenty-first-century media ecology, which includes both the megatext and the big, ambitious novel, and argues that rather than simply (and futilely) resist the neoliberal cultural logic of accumulation without end, DuPlessis hypertrophically uses the megatext’s phallogocentric form against itself in order to interrogate more broadly what it means—socially, culturally, economically—to write a long poem in the age of hyperarchival accumulation.


“Big, Ambitious Novels by Twenty-First-Century Women, Part 1,” Genre 54, no. 1 (April 2021).

James Zeigler, “Introduction: Big Novel Ambition without Apology.”

Maaheen Ahmed and Shiamin Kwa, “‘Kill the Monster!”: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters and the Big, Ambitious (Graphic) Novel.”

Patricia Stuelke, “Writing Refugee Crisis in the Age of Amazon: Lost Children Archive‘s Reenactment Play.”

Katarzyna Bartoszyńska, “Two Paths for the Big Book: Olga Tokarczuk’s Shifting Voice.”

Marjorie Worthington, “‘We’ll Make Magic’: Zen Writers and Autofictional Readers in A Tale for the Time Being.”

Siân White, “A ‘Hair-Trigger Society’ and the Woman Who Felt Something in Anna Burn’s Milkman.”

Bradley J. Fest, “‘Is an Archive Enough?’: Megatextual Debris in the Work of Rachel Blau DuPlessis.”

Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 14: April 16–May 15, 2021

Politics and Economics

Declan Walsh, “Israel Ground Forces Shell Gaza as Fighting Intensifies.”

Committee to Protect Journalists, “Israeli Air Strikes Destroy Buildings Housing More than a Dozen Media Outlets in Gaza.”

Democracy Now!, “Gaza Journalist: Israel Is Deliberately Targeting the Media by Bombing AP and Al Jazeera Offices.”

Patrick Kingsley and Vivian Yee, “Conflict Spirals across Israel and the Palestinian Territories.”

Posted byMari Cohen, Joshua Leifer, and Alex Kane, “A Guide to the Current Crisis in Israel/Palestine.”

Samera Esmeir, “The Palestinians and the Struggle of the Dispossessed.”

Mariam Barghout, “Why Are Palestinians Protesting? Because We Want to Live.”

John Eligon, Tim Arango, Shaila Dewan, and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, “Derek Chauvin Verdict Brings a Rare Rebuke of Police Misconduct.”

Tobi Haslett, “Magic Actions.”

Lili Hu, “Race, Policing, and the Limits of Social Science.”

Audra D. S. Burch, Amy Harmon, Sabrina Tavernise, and Emily Badger, “The Death of George Floyd Reignited a Movement. What Happens Now?”

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Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 13: March 16–April 15, 2021

Map-of-Ships-Going-around-Cape-of-Good-Hope (1)

Nuclear and Environmental

Jessica Hurley and Dan Sinykin, “On the Ethics of Impossibility.”

Steven Watts, review of Infrastructures of Apocalypse, by Jessica Hurley.

Rebecca S. Oh, “Apocalyptic Realism: ‘A New Category of the Event.'”

Amy Brady, “Telling Tales of Climate Collapse: Novelists Weigh In.”

Patrick Kingsley, David E. Sanger, and Farnaz Fassihi, “After Nuclear Site Blackout, Thunder from Iran, and Silence from US.”

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Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 12: February 16–March 15, 2021

This is the twelfth entry in my Links in the Time of Coronavirus series (?), marking a year since the beginning of the pandemic. And whether it was because the semester started again  and I’m teaching three classes (and so I have had less time to “surf the internet” [i.e., despairingly look at my phone because there’s nothing else to do]) or because the first full month of the Biden administration was just, um, less filled with news, or whether we’ve reached a holding pattern with regard to the pandemic—just waiting for the number of vaccinated people to increase—there are fewer links here than at probably any point in the last twelve months. As such, I thought I’d start with a section that is usually down the page a bit. Less timely, perhaps, but there were lots of interesting things published over the past month:

 

Theory and Criticism

Kelly Horan, “More Heart, Less Darkness,” review of Love’s Shadow, by Paul A. Bové.

boundary 2 Editorial Collective, “Does Attention to Language Matter Anymore? Philology, Translation, Criticism.”

Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado, “On Cosmopolitanism and the Love of Literature: Revisiting Harold Bloom through His Final Books.”

Gerry Canavan, “Science Fiction and Utopia in the Anthropocene.”

Mark McGurl, “Unspeakable Conventionality: The Perversity of the Kindle.”

Jane Hu, “Said by Said.”

David Kurnick, “Queer Theory and Literary Criticism’s Melodramas.”

Martin Hägglund, “Marx, Hegel, and the Critique of Religion: A Response.”

Étienne Balibar, “Politics and Science: One Vocation or Two?”

Len Gutkin, “We’re Off to the Method Wars.”

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Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 11: January 16–February 15, 2021

General Think Pieces and Poems

Lawrence Wright, “The Plague Year.”

Naomi Klein, “The Meaning of The Mittens: Five Possibilities” and “How Not to Lose the Lockdown Generation.”

Irene Butter, “I Witnessed the Rise of Nazism Firsthand. We Must Act Now to Protect American Democracy.”

Charles Yu, Mike Jaccarino, A. S. Hamrah, Eileen Myles, Judith Martin, Olivia Laing, Yinka Elujoba, Lauren Oyler, Jane Hu, Liane Carlson, David Owen, Christian Lorentzen, and Christopher Beha, “Life after Trump.”

Micah Uetricht, “Amid the Wildfires: Mike Davis’s Forecast for the Left.”

Eric Reinhart, “Pandemicity without Pandemic: Political Responsibility in the Exponential Present.”

Jericho Brown, “Inaugural.”

Dan Rather, “A Moment of Reckoning.”

Kyle Chayka, “How Nothingness Became Everything We Wanted.”

Adam Serwer, “An Incompetent Authoritarian Is Still a Catastrophe.”

Susan B. Glasser, “Obituary for a Failed Presidency.”

Tim Naftali, “The Worst President in History.”

Christian Lorentzen, “I Need Money,” review of Yesterday’s Man: The Case against Joe Biden, by Branko Marcetic.

Paul Musgrave, “America Needs to Prosecute Its Presidents.”

Matt Johnson, “Will the US Ever Recover from Trump?”

David Roth, “The March of American Kooks.”

Molly Crabapple, “Molly Crabapple on New York City Before—and One Day, After—COVID-19.”

Paul Rosenberg, “‘A Moment of Moral and Political Nihilism’: Theologian Adam Kotsko on Our Current Crisis.”

Michael Hardt, “War by Other Means.”

Lauren Russell, “Poetry for the Moment.”

Julia Barajas, “How a Twenty-Two-Year-Old LA Native Became Biden’s Inauguration Poet.”

Alexandra Alter, “Amanda Gorman Captures the Moment, in Verse.”

Virginia Jackson and Meredith Martin, “The Poetry of the Future.”

The Editors of n + 1, “The Politics Trump Made: A Reading List.”

George T. Conway III, “Donald Trump’s New Reality.”

And (re-upping) David Roth, “The President of Blank Sucking Nullity.”

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