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Omnivore

Beyond college

From The Chronicle, what accounts for the remarkable stability of university rankings? John Quiggin on rank delusions. Beyond college rankings: Jonathan Rothwell and Siddharth Kulkarni on a value-added approach to assessing two- and four-year schools. Rebecca Mead on how Cooper Union’s ideal of free education seems to be foundering amid the financial pressures and preoccupations of Manhattan today. For-profit Corinthian Colleges shuts down dozens of campuses, leaving thousands of students without


Paper Trail

One of new media’s bigger coups over old seems not to be lasting: Gawker notes that only a few months after abandoning the New Yorker for the start-up Genius, music critic Sasha Frere-Jones is already backing away from his full-time commitment to “the annotation website that sticks bad jokes next to your favorite rap lyrics.”

Syllabi

The Innocent/Corrupt

Adam ThirlwellA narrator is a much stranger toy at the novelist's disposal than is usually thought. It's not just something as depressingly ordinary as a character—more a vast system of smuggling. And there's one

Daily Review

The Sympathizer

From the grand ’Nam narratives of ’70s cinema to the works of creative-writing-syllabus mainstays like Tim O’Brien and Robert Olen Butler, representations of Vietnam and the war we staged there are some of our most indelible and critically renowned cultural products.

Interviews

Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson is the only serious and literary person I've encountered whose speech is filled with more "you knows" than mine. Unlike mine, perhaps, her verbal tic is not so much a crutch as a helping hand: she'll be saying something fast, brilliant, and thoughtful, and maybe you don't totally get it, but when she says "you know," she allows you to feel as if you do.

Essay

Dennis Cooper's Haunted HTML Novel

Paige K. Bradley

You could call Dennis Cooper's new HTML novel, Zac’s Haunted House, many things: net art, a glorified Tumblr, a visual novel, a mood board, or a dark night of the Internet's soul. It has just a few words—the chapter titles and a few subtitles embedded in some of the gifs—but it still very clearly belongs to Cooper’s own haunted oeuvre, capable of evoking powerful and gnarled emotions.

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