2016: Year in Reading

I am not relevant enough to give recommendations for books published in 2016; for that, you can check out editor John Wilson’s excellent list here. I can, however, humbly offer a handful of exceptional books that I read this year. I’m pleased that it is a diverse list—new(ish) books and books I reread; classics, novels, intellectual … Continue reading 2016: Year in Reading

Notes from the History of Laughter

I recently picked up Mikhail Bakhtin's classic Rabelais and His World, an excellent and vastly illuminating work of literary criticism. Bakhtin's primary thesis is that Rabelais is the culminating literary expression of the carnival or grotesque idiom of folk humor, an idiom which had developed for over a thousand years (starting with the Roman Saturnalia) as an "unofficial" or subversive … Continue reading Notes from the History of Laughter