Maria Dimitrova

  • Moral High

    In a 2015 Guardian article titled “The Death of Writing,” the novelist Tom McCarthy argued that fiction, which had retreated into “comforting nostalgia,” had been replaced by the “funky architecture firms, digital media companies and brand consultancies that have assumed the mantle of the cultural avant garde.” “If there is an individual alive in 2015 with the genius and vision of James Joyce,” he went on, “they’re probably working for Google.”

    Oval, the first novel by the thirty-year-old writer Elvia Wilk, is a box-tickingly perfect dramatization of the landscape McCarthy envisioned. The

  • culture January 09, 2019

    I Am Dynamite!: A Life of Nietzsche by Sue Prideaux

    The Nietzsche that emerges in the first pages of Sue Prideaux’s ambitious and stylistically accomplished biography is not the prodigy philologist or the ruthless diagnostician of modernity, but the fanboy. In a letter to a friend, he recounts getting ready to meet Wagner for the first time. Still a university student, Nietzsche is eager to make the most of the opportunity to meet the older celebrity composer and has ordered a new suit. A misunderstanding over the suit payment leaves him brooding on the sofa “in my shirttails and consider[ing] black velvet, whether it is good enough for Richard.”

  • interviews March 14, 2016

    Bookforum talks with Garth Greenwell

    One of the things that’s interesting about the discussion of autofiction around people like Lerner and Knausgaard—writers I admire very much—is that it’s not often recognized as a tradition of writing that’s very deeply queer and that’s been going on for a long time.

    When I first became aware of Garth Greenwell, he was the enigmatic new English teacher at the American College of Sofia in Bulgaria, the high school I had graduated from a year before his arrival in 2009. He became an outspoken advocate of LGBT rights on campus—something that made the school, still attached to its missionary origins, distinctly uncomfortable—and he also introduced a much-discussed fiction assignment that required students to write their own stories modeled after James Joyce’s Dubliners: He wanted them not to look away from the incongruities of their own city, but to make an