Essays

Tina Chow’s Articulate Silence

Tina Chow’s Kyoto and Saturn bracelets I was exuberant when I first imagined writing this essay. I have been obsessed with Tina Chow for years. When asked why, I was…

Words and Flesh: Observations on the American Soul

When you land in the United States, you can observe from a distance the world you are supposed to enter. For more than thirty years I lived in the opaque…

Something in My Pocket: Bakhtin, Freud, and South Park

  South Park is obscenely violent, purposely grotesque, it holds nothing sacred, it is racist, sexist, homophobic as well as heterophobic, and abuses people of every political and demographic persuasion,…

It Sang Itself Utterly Away: the Presence of the Poet

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with memory. Maybe I shouldn’t say lately, because I’ve always been obsessed with memory—mostly my own memories. One second I am brushing my teeth and the…

Home: 9 LGBTQ Writers Reflect after Orlando

Contributors: Scott Esposito, Rooze Garcia, Gabriel Garcia Ochoa, Melissa Febos, Jill McDonough, H. Sharif “Herukhuti” Williams, Mary Meriam, Annie Won, and Hannah Baker-Siroty. Editor’s Note We at The Critical Flame shared…

I Had to Cut It Down: An Experiment in Destructive Criticism

There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. —Ralph Waldo Emerson The role of the critic is the topic de jour, in part because of the smart and…

A Paean to Summer Reading

Given how I struggled as a child with prescribed summer reading lists—all those obligations to read Hard Times or Lord Jim by the Tuesday after Labor Day—I surprise even myself…

Beyond Shakespeare: Thinking globally on the anniversary of the playwright’s death

Which authors do students entering college in the United States need to be familiar with? Homer? Dante? Austen? Dickinson? Ellison? All of the above? No. According to the Common Core…

Six Proposals for the Reform of Literature in the Age of Climate Change

A century ago, China was in chaos. The Qing Empire had been overthrown by a loosely coordinated confederation of elites. The regional militias and armies that held sway were each…

Call for Submissions: Translation Feature

BOSTON, MA – MAY 2, 2016 | The Critical Flame, a bimonthly online journal of book reviews, criticism, essays, interviews, and literary nonfiction, announces an invitation for submissions to a…

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