Open Letters Monthly, July 2012

The July issue of Open Letters Monthly is sizzling, and I’m not just saying that because my laptop is making my knees sweat. Whether you’re reading on the beach, in the breach, hard at work, hardly working, stateside, poolside (does anyone read an online journal poolside? does anyone even say “poolside”?) or any other possible scenario, there’s a bunch of good writing here that’ll go down smooth and cool.

I’ve already mentioned the Summer Reading 2012 and Summer Reading 2012 Continues features, with off-the-beaten-track recommendations from Sam Sacks, John Cotter, Steve Donoghue, Greg Waldmann, Rohan Maitzen, Maureen Thorson, Jeffrey Eaton, Elisa Gabbert, Adam Golaski, Kennen McCarthy, Justin Hickey, and myself. But I’m mentioning it again, just in case you haven’t been over to check out the suggestions yet. There are some good ‘uns.

In addition to talking about what you could be reading, there’s some good reading to be had right here. Ted Underwood talks about Digital Humanities, a term you might have heard floating around—maybe even here, as it’s a longstanding interest of mine.

Stephen Akey sides with the sophomore girls on poet James Schuyler (and that’s not faint praise at all).

Greg Gerke and Gabriel Blackwell hold a discussion on reading J R in particular, and the peculiar pleasures of William Gaddis in general.

Justin Hickey weighs in on the Amazing Spider-Man reboot.

John McIntyre looks at the romans durs of Georges Simenon.

Liza Birnbaum explains why James Agee still matters.

Phillip A. Lobo invokes none other than Freud on the subject of why we play games that scare us, sadden us, confront us with our own mortality.

Daniel Carter gives us an original poem, LOVE SONG FOR PYROMANIACS AND LIBRARIANS.

In On the Scent, Elisa Gabbert talks with Alyssa Harad about her memoir, Coming to My Senses.

Continuing his American Aristocracy series, Douglass Shand-Tucci looks at The Gods of Copley Square.

And in his newest installment of Keeping Up with the Windsors, Steve Donoghue takes a look at Lady Colin Campbell’s The Queen Mother in a piece whose title I cannot in any way improve on.

Amelia Glaser reviews Masha Gessen’s aptly titled The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin.

Irma Heldman takes a look at Peter Lovesey’s fine new Peter Diamond mystery, Cop to Corpse.

This month’s photograph is from Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw’s strange and wonderful installation Imeday Imeday Olladay Icklenay.

So go forth and read, stay cool, and enjoy the summer in all its glory!

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