Such a devastating loss! I am trying to imagine our intellectual/ literary life without Bob Silvers, and it is a grim prospect. Bob had been my dear, kind, patient, thoughtful, […]
Princeton University, 2016 It’s an honor and a pleasure to be introducing Stephen King to a Princeton audience, for the second time. Stephen came to Princeton for the first time […]
I believe these things are true about Dylan, as they are true about any genius: 1. He is unstoppable. 2. “He” is both an individual and a medium, a process by which […]
“If Lawrence hadn’t written those novels he would have been far more readily acclaimed as one of the greatest poets in the language.” —Joyce Carol Oates, Paris Review The Hostile Sun: […]
Joyce Carol Oates's extensive essays and reviews of Sylvia Plath's work.
That so prodigiously long and so luridly convoluted a novel as The Possessed evolves, nevertheless, with the structural coherence of a tragedy of Aeschylus or Euripides is a testament of Dostoyevsky's unparalleled genius. It has always been known that he is a marvelous creator of character—he is the equal of Dickens, and perhaps even the equal of Shakespeare, in this regard. But that he is a genius as a craftsman is perhaps less well known.
Cordelia, with her unearned kiss, symbolizes that moment of grace that forces the tragic action to a temporary halt, and allows a magical synthesis of the bliss of eternity and the tragedy of time that is so powerful in Shakespeare, because it is so rare.
Jane Eyre: An Introduction One of the reasons for Jane Eyre’s authority over her own experience, and the confidence with which she assesses that experience, is that, as the romantically […]
Read JCO’s take on classics and contemporaries, from William Shakespeare to Stephen King, as well as her view of the short story, the gothic & grotesque, American literary culture, and […]