What kind of a person does Theory make? What did it once mean to have read theorists? What does it mean now? How does Theory help you hold a job? Deal with lovers, children, bosses, and parents? Decide between the restricted alternatives of adulthood? If novelistic realism aspires to be a history of the present, that present now includes — in the educations of writers themselves — the Theory that relegates novelistic realism to the past.

Nicholas Dames

This quote is from a very entertaining piece called The Theory Generation in the newest issue of N+1.

Now we live in the kingdom of fact: of information and the means to gather it, but also, more recently, of personal narrative and the means to disseminate it. Social media, webcams, YouTube (“Broadcast Yourself”)—but even before all that, the confessionality of daytime talk shows. Hence we’ve also come to live in the age of memoir. Fiction is still prominent but under increasing commercial and ideological attack
William Deresiewicz, on the rise and return of fiction narratives. Read.
neververygrave
A father spies on his young son in an effort to better understand him, in Bradford Tice’s “The Art of Human Surveillance,” from our fiction section:


I keep a safe distance from Win. On a day-to-day basis, Win mostly explores, and I begin to remember my own youth when every corner, hidey-hole, and shaded place grew pregnant with mystery and novelty. Win knows the neighborhood, the network of drainage tunnels. I watch him slink through these ditches, ducking his head under the corrugated steel, only to emerge on the far side with wet shoes and cobwebs in his hair. 

A father spies on his young son in an effort to better understand him, in Bradford Tice’s “The Art of Human Surveillance,” from our fiction section:

I keep a safe distance from Win. On a day-to-day basis, Win mostly explores, and I begin to remember my own youth when every corner, hidey-hole, and shaded place grew pregnant with mystery and novelty. Win knows the neighborhood, the network of drainage tunnels. I watch him slink through these ditches, ducking his head under the corrugated steel, only to emerge on the far side with wet shoes and cobwebs in his hair. 

He was nursing yesterday’s adventure—pleasure and bruises. He wanted to see her again, to find a way through her armor, down to the honest if mistaken core that drove her candid tongue, to be her full confessor, to share the weight of her past, even if it stained him. Today his sense of worth seemed tied to her, resting on her approval, her friendship, her admiration of his intellect as a peer.
North of Ordinary,” by John Rolfe Gardiner.