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Kevin Smokler


Letter to a Future Great Gatsby Reader

May 29, 2013 | Criticism

Dear Old Sport, I'm writing to you in late May of 2013, and the world again has its attention on The Great Gatsby. A new film version (the seventh) opened early this month and has already grossed $115 million. The acclaimed theatre grou [...]

Why You Should Revisit the Classics From High School

March 1, 2013 | Essays

I must have been a nightmare in high school English class. English was my favorite subject, and my friends and I talked about books with the same mania we hoarded quarters for the arcade and wolfed down mozzarella sticks at Denny’s. I even had En [...]

Sylvia Plath and The Four-Sided Bell Jar

February 11, 2013 | Criticism

I first heard of Sylvia Plath's only novel, The Bell Jar, nearly 20 years before I read it. In graduate school, I was assigned The Silent Woman (1994), a biography by journalist Janet Malcolm on the shaping of Plath’s posthumous reputat [...]

Do You Work With a Bartleby?

February 1, 2013 | Essays

Here in the opening weeks of the year, everyone is back at work and reminded of the little things that irk them about their job. It may be a lousy parking space, a windowless office, or a boss who doesn't listen. Many of you also work with an annoy [...]

A Short Primer on Men and Reading Jane Austen

October 26, 2012 | Criticism

 Cassandra Austen (1773-1845). Portrait of Jane Austen (c. 1810) Editor’s note: Today’s post by Kevin Smokler (@weegee) is part of an online companion to our Fall 2012 issue on The Female Conscience. Click here to review all blog e [...]