Microscopic examination

Longer essays

Another "True Life" M. K. Brown Romance
What's missing from the cartoonist's career retrospective.
Delany's Dirt
The pornographic novels of Samuel R. Delany.
Down Home Music
Mojo Hand : An Orphic Tale by J. J. Phillips.
Emily Dickinson: The Poet as Selflorist
Aural composition.
Failing towards Freedom
The limits of scientized history, particulary as demonstrated by Brooks Adams.
High, Low & Lethem
Jonathan Lethem, John Leonard, Steve Gerber, and cross-genre appropriation. (Original weblog version.)
---king Elvis
Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips, and an accident waiting to happen.
Laura True-Teller and Other Fairy Tales
Laura Riding's Progress of Stories.
Losing It: A Vertigo Restoration Comedy
I link up; I link down... I link up; I link down....
No Better than We Should Be
Against the ethical turn in criticism, as represented by three stalwart champions.
Nothing Personal
Undepersonalization in Confessional, New York School, and Language Poetry.
No Single Reason in the World
The limits of evolutionary psychology.
Reading Leggott's Reading Zukofsky's 80 Flowers
The pleasure of obstinately difficult poetry.
The Road to Son of Paleface
Frank Tashlin, Bob Hope, and Andrew Marvell.
The Terrorist of Malta
The political art of Christopher Marlowe.
Thinking of Cluny Brown
The philosophy of Ernst Lubitsch.
True Enough
Citations in literary scholarship.

Shorter essays and serials

Appearance of a World
Poetics of/against science fiction.
Blind Willie McTell
Grace and reputation in popular music.
An Integral
Gypsy by Carter Scholz.
Love or Confusion
Lewis Shiner's Glimpses and other musical stories.
My Acquaintance Anselm Dovetonsils, American Poet
With a not-quite-slim-enough volume.
My Funny Valentine
Laughing at and with post-Victorian modern poety.
The Quarrel between Philosophy and Philosophers
The goal of the game and the point of the game.
The Second Confiscation
On generic knowledge and ignoring.
The Sissy Gaze in American Cinema
"What grace! What spirit! Hops and flurries delight the eye; acidic comebacks scour the ear canal."
Summa contra juxta Gentiles
Credo & apologia.
Things Are Tough All Over
The squandered promises of genre.
Three Anagrams of Jack Spicer's Biography
Three Reputations
What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.
Tuesday Weld
"Most impenetrable!" - Entertainment Weekly
The Weeds of Crime
Three movies, one important message: A wimp in a mutally adoring marriage who's threatened by masculine hostility and a job crisis can solve all his problems by joining a bunch of gangsters.
"Accept some distance so expression can arrive and depart."
Earlier essays, reviews, and fiction.


Amazon stretchmarks
American language
Big business monkeys
The Bright Elusive Button Fly of Love
Cholly on Software
Critics rave
The Death Wish in American Publicity Material
Economic conditions
Elements of Film Style
Francis Joins a Feral Herd
Free and direct discourse
Free Willy
Headlines for a New Society
Hotsy totsy, another Nazi
In production
Intellectual property
Intermediate Hedonics
Irony Watch
Le Critique malgré lui
Lyrics server
Miracle of Digestion
Mission Statement
Modernist Class
New Diversity
Nonprofit Chronicles
Our Motto
Outsider Art
Philosophy of the World
Political art
Populist culture
Real guys
Science News
Support Our Sponsors
These United States
Things that scare me
The Ultimate Battle Between Good and Nice
Why I Am Not an Analytic Philosopher

Biographical Dictionary

Alfred Hitchcock
Anselm Dovetonsils
Baron Corvo / Fr. Rolfe
Basil Bunting
Beatrix Potter
Beth Rust
The Bobbettes
Brenda Starr
B. S. Johnson
Buddy Ebsen
Buster Keaton
Carl Barks
Carter Scholz
Cecil B. DeMille
Chandler Davis
Charles Boyer
Charles Reznikoff
Charles Schulz
Charlotte Brontë
Chester Himes
Chris Ware
Christina La Sala
Christopher Marlowe
Clarence "Frogman" Henry
Clover Hooper Adams
Daniel Johnston
Dashiell Hammett
Dave Eggers
Dave Sim
David Cronenberg
Dianne Feinstein
Djuna Barnes
Doug Asherman
Douglas Sirk
Dysfunctional Family Circus
Earl Jackson, Jr.
Edgar Allan Poe
Eddie Campbell
Edward Topsell
Elizabeth Inchbald
Elvis Presley
Emily Dickinson
Eric Rohmer
Fanny Burney
Francis Bacon
Francis Ford Coppola
Frank Borzage
Frank O'Hara
Frank Tashlin
Friedrich Nietszche
Fritz Lang
George Gascoigne
George & Weedon Grossmith
George Herriman
George Jones
George Romero
Gertrude Stein
The Count de Grammont
Grandmaster Flash
Gregg Toland
Guillaume Apollinaire
Hannah Weiner
Hans Christian Andersen
Henry Adams
Henry James
Herman Melville
Howard Hawks
Jack Spicer
Jacques Derrida
James Branch Cabell
James Joyce
James Thurber
Jane Austen
Jane Jacobs
Jane Russell
Jean-Luc Godard
Joe Brainard
Joey Ramone
John Collier
John Milton
John Poindexter
John Ruskin
John Thelwall
John Wayne
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
Johnny Cash
Jonathan Lethem
Joseph Cornell
Joseph H. Lewis
Julie London
Juliet Clark
Karen Joy Fowler
Karl Kraus
Kelly Link
Laura Riding
Lawrence L. White
Lawrence Sterne
Leslie Cheung
Lester Bangs
Lewis Carroll
Lorenz Hart
Lorine Niedecker
Louis Zukofsky
Louise Brooks
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Lynda Barry
Marcel Duchamp
Marc Laidlaw
Maria Shriver
Martha Soukup
Martin Scorsese
Milt Gross
Mister Rogers
Molly Gloss
M. P. Shiel
Niccolò Machiavelli
Nikola Tesla
Patricia Highsmith
Paul McEnery
Pedro Almodóvar
Peter Wilkins
Pontius Pilate
Randy Newman
Raymond Chandler
Rayner Heppenstall
Richard Dawkins
Robert Clampett
Robert Glück
Robert Mitchum
Robert Musil
Rose Macaulay
Roxanne Shanté
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Samuel Johnson
Samuel R. Delany
"Skeets" Gallagher
Slavoj Žižek
Smokey Robinson
Stanley Kubrick
Stephen Crane
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
Thomas Bernhard
Thomas Campion
Tom Parmenter
Tom Tomorrow
Tony Randall
T. P. Uschanov
Tuesday Weld
Van Morrison
W. C. Fields
Wendell Corey
W. H. Mallock
William Bronk
William Cornwallis
Willie McTell
W. N. P. Barbellion
Wyatt Earp
Yo-Yo Ma
Zeke Manners
Zoe Beloff

Movie Comment

American Beauty
Animal House
Another Day, Another Man
The Arizonian
Baby Face Harrington
Being John Malkovich
The Big Combo
The Big Red One
The Big Sky
The Blair Witch Project
Boogie Nights
Boy Meets Girl
Boy! What a Girl
The Brandon Teena Story
Bringing out the Dead
Bubba Ho-Tep
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Caltiki, the Immortal Monster
Camille Claudel
Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death
Cast Away
A Certain Kind of Death
Chuck & Buck
Cluny Brown
Confidential Agent
Crime of Passion
The Dekalog
Diary of a Shinjuku Thief
Dirty Little Billy
Edge of Darkness
End of the Century
Eyes Wide Shut
The Fatal Glass of Beer
The Feminine Touch
Fight Club
Fingers at the Window
Fruitvale Station
George Washington
Gold Diggers of 1937
Ghost World
Gosford Park
Green Acres
Hell is for Heroes
High Noon
High Pressure
His Girl Friday
The Ichthyoid Syndrome
In the Bedroom
Intolerable Cruelty
It! The Terror from Beyond Space
The Killer Is Loose
King Kong
Kiss Me Deadly
The Lady from Shanghai
Land of the Dead
Lilly Turner
The Long Goodbye
Lost in Translation
Lost Weekend
Lumière & Company
The Man I Love
The Married Woman
Meet Me in St. Louis
Monster's Ball
Mr. Death
My Brother's Wedding
Naked Lunch
The Night of the Hunter
Night of the Living Dead
North by Northwest
Old Acquaintance
The Old Dark House
The Palm Beach Story
Peking Opera Blues
Person with Puppie
The Phantom of Liberty
The Philadelphia Story
Pirates of Silicon Valley
Prix de Beauté
The Reckless Moment
Red Riding: 1974
The Saddest Music in the World
Saving Private Ryan
Shadow Land
Shadow of the Vampire
Something Wild
The Sport Parade
The Straight Story
Swordsman II
The Tall Target
Three Men on a Horse
Tomorrow, the World!
Too Many Girls
Topsy Turvy
Warriors of Virtue
West Side Story
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
Written on the Wind


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Copyright to contributed work and quoted correspondence remains with the original authors.
Public domain work remains in the public domain.
All other material: Copyright 2004 Ray Davis.