Mark Swartz

Latest Stories

  • 10 years ago

    As early as 1964 Marshall McLuhan observed, "As early as 1830 the French poet [Alphonse de] Lamartine had said, 'The book arrives too late,' drawing attention to the fact that the book and the newspaper are quite different forms." With the news cy...

  • 10 years ago

    The protagonist of Colson Whitehead's briskly existentialist third novel is a nomenclature consultant, which means that he receives money to name things like pharmaceuticals and toys. The book's title comes from a bandage manufactured to color coo...

  • 10 years ago

    In 1949, New Statesman held a Graham Greene parody contest. The second-place winner began, "The child had an air of taking everything in and giving nothing away. At Rome airport he was led across the tarmac by his aunt, but he seemed to hear nothi...

  • 11 years ago

    Museum curator Promise Whittaker can keep three objects in motion without dropping a single one. Juggling a stuffed animal, a ball, and a toy truck in exchange for her son and daughter agreeing to go to bed, "she gave herself over to the toss and ...

  • 12 years ago

    John Forbes Kerry could learn something about Vietnam from Robert Olen Butler. Both veterans have had trouble summoning the passion of their wartime experience when faced with other subjects, but Butler has recently discovered that it's less about...

  • 12 years ago

    Flann O'Brien died in 1966, but he has just written a very fine novel. The publisher identifies the author as a living man from Cincinnati named Dallas, but the fingerprints all over it belong to O'Brien, the dead Irish-man. As if O'Brien's identi...


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