In 1979, William Gaddis taught a course at Bard College on “The Literature of Failure,” examining works that somehow focused on personal failure or insufficiency. These included, among other books, Joan Didion’s Play It as It Lays, as well as Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. In Bookforum, Casey Michael Henry takes on a related genre: the literature of obsolescence. You could also read James Cappio on meeting Gaddis in person.
It’s been one week since the “Friday Night Lights” finale aired on network television, and it seems as though the entire internet is grieving. Two Grantland pieces: an oral history and a tongue-in-cheek analysis; an opinion piece juxtaposing Peter Berg‘s low-rated drama against “Glee”‘s success; and now even The Paris Review has thrown its hat into the ring. All of this, of course, comes on the heels of our own Sonya Chung‘s piece last April.
True Detective ended weeks ago, but someone once told me, “Time is a flat circle,” and that everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again. And this piece on the show’s finale by Lili Loofbourow is going to be the best one you’ll read on the internet again and again and again forever. (Bonus: Our own Ujala Sehgal crafted a reading list based on one of the show’s [missing] elements.)