Remembrance of Novels Past: Nicholson Baker’s “Memory Criticism”

Richard Elliott | 6 March 2017

From the masterpieces of Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf to recent classics such as Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending, the subject of memory has exercised some of the finest minds of modern literature. Indeed, think of the last novel you read and chances are that a good deal of the narrative was devoted to memory, whether in the form of childhood memories (as in Zadie Smith’s Swing Time), traumatic memories (Eimear McBride’s The Lesser Bohemians), or, more atypically, prenatal memories (Ian McEwan’s Nutshell).

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Cultural Appropriation: From Seinfeld to Shriver

17 October 2016 | Richard Elliott

In ‘The Yada Yada’ episode of Seinfeld, dentist Tim Whatley announces to Jerry and George that he has become a Jew, and immediately begins to crack jokes based around his new-found identity. When Jerry goes to a Catholic confessional to express his suspicion that Whatley has “converted to Judaism purely for the jokes,” the priest asks him “And this offends you as a Jewish person?” to which Jerry replies “No, it offends me as a comedian.”

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