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Against Everything: Essays
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2016
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A brilliant collection of essays by a young writer who is already a star in the intellectual firmament. As William Deresiewicz has written in Harper's Magazine, "[Mark Greif ] is an intellectual, full stop . . . There is much of [Lionel] Trilling in Greif . . . Much also of Susan Sontag . . . What he shares with both, and with the line they represent, is precisely a sense of intellect—of thought, of mind—as a conscious actor in the world."Over the past eleven years, Greif has been publishing superb, and in some cases already famous, essays in n+1, the high-profile little magazine that he co-founded. These essays address such key topics in the cultural, political, and intellectual life of our time as the tyranny of exercise, the tyranny of nutrition and food snobbery, the sexualization of childhood (and everything else), the philosophical meaning of Radiohead, the rise and fall of the hipster, the impact of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the crisis of policing. Four of the selections address, directly and unironically, the meaning of life—what might be the right philosophical stance to adopt toward one's self and the world.Each essay in Against Everything is learned, original, highly entertaining, and, from start to finish, dead serious. They are the work of a young intellectual who, with his peers, is reinventing and reinvigorating what intellectuals can be and say and do. Mark Greif manages to reincarnate and revivify the thought and spirit of the greatest of American dissenters, Henry David Thoreau, for our time and historical situation.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/06/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101871164
ASIN:
B019B6WTZW
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Mark Greif. (2016). Against Everything: Essays. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Mark Greif. 2016. Against Everything: Essays. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Mark Greif, Against Everything: Essays. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Mark Greif. Against Everything: Essays. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: MARK GREIF received a BA summa cum laude from Harvard in history and literature and an MPhil from Oxford in English as a British Marshall Scholar. In 2004, he co-founded the literary and intellectual journal n+1 in New York and has been a principal at the maga­zine since then. He earned a PhD in American studies from Yale in 2007. Since 2008, he has been on the faculty of the New School in New York, where he is currently an associate professor. His previous book, The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933–1973, was published in 2015. Greif has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and, for 2016–17, is a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
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title
Against Everything
fullDescription
A brilliant collection of essays by a young writer who is already a star in the intellectual firmament. As William Deresiewicz has written in Harper's Magazine, "[Mark Greif ] is an intellectual, full stop . . . There is much of [Lionel] Trilling in Greif . . . Much also of Susan Sontag . . . What he shares with both, and with the line they represent, is precisely a sense of intellect—of thought, of mind—as a conscious actor in the world."
Over the past eleven years, Greif has been publishing superb, and in some cases already famous, essays in n+1, the high-profile little magazine that he co-founded. These essays address such key topics in the cultural, political, and intellectual life of our time as the tyranny of exercise, the tyranny of nutrition and food snobbery, the sexualization of childhood (and everything else), the philosophical meaning of Radiohead, the rise and fall of the hipster, the impact of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the crisis of policing. Four of the selections address, directly and unironically, the meaning of life—what might be the right philosophical stance to adopt toward one's self and the world.
Each essay in Against Everything is learned, original, highly entertaining, and, from start to finish, dead serious. They are the work of a young intellectual who, with his peers, is reinventing and reinvigorating what intellectuals can be and say and do. Mark Greif manages to reincarnate and revivify the thought and spirit of the greatest of American dissenters, Henry David Thoreau, for our time and historical situation.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: John Jeremiah Sullivan
      • content: "Mark Greif is one of the most consistently interesting American writers of the last decade, and this book proves it. I read him for the pleasure of never knowing where his brain's going next. Here's the first sentence of his essay on cops: 'A surprise of being around police is how much they touch you.' That's the kind of weird and accurate observation I want from an essayist. Get down with a writer who's dogged in his attempt to understand us better, and wise in knowing it's hopeless."
      • premium: False
      • source: Mary Karr
      • content: "Anyone who hasn't discovered Mark Greif's unforgettable essays yet in the pages of n+1--the country's most powerful literary mag, which he cofounded--will thank me for demanding you rush out to buy his grasp-you-by-the-throat collection Against Everything. Like James Wood or Susan Sontag, George Orwell or Randall Jarrell, Greif defines our age yet writes with such wit and grace, he'll last forever. A must-read collection by one of our preeminent thinkers."
      • premium: False
      • source: Leslie Jamison
      • content: "Mark Greif makes a case for so much: for curiosity and precision, for second glances, for reconsidering, for paying attention to the world and not being satisfied by what it's become, or ever been. I found the crackle of rigor in these essays, but also so much tenderness and awe."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Sontagian exercises in perceiving, noting, and grumbling. "The reason to eat food is no longer mainly hunger." So intones n+1 founder Greif (The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973, 2015) in one of many moments of obviousness. Also, the police "announce eventfulness, and in some way their mere presence stands against danger"; "One thing that can be said for a gym is that an implied contract links everyone who works out in its mirrored and pungent hangar." As John Berger or Walter Pater might say, such high-minded but souffle-light observations are too clever by half; does anyone really need to be told that the economic system that governs us puts us in the awful position of hating what we do in order to make the money that we love? Sometimes Greif scores, and nicely, as when he notes that the rights agenda that activists are likely to press today concerns not speech but "rights to the use of your body, rights to babies, rights to sex, rights to health; or battles over the correct boundaries of these things, as in the right to life, the status of fetuses, the line where therapy becomes enhancement." Yet many of the pieces are of the passing-caravan occasion: will anyone remember the Octomom a decade from now? Does Snooki of Jersey Shore really deserve a moment more of anyone's time, and, for that matter, does she really have anything in common with Hitler? Does punk rock really begin in fear? The band, maybe, but not the emotion, just as rock music transcended being the property of children half a century ago. It's enough to make Lester Bangs, or maybe Walter Benjamin, roll in his urn. Popular culture is hard to pin down because it's evanescent. Cultural criticism therefore runs the risk of being as ephemeral as a fruit fly. Too much of this collection is a case in point. COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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shortDescription
A brilliant collection of critical essays by a young writer who is already a star in the intellec­tual firmament. As William Deresiewicz has written in Harper's Magazine, "[Mark Greif] is an intellectual, full stop...There is much of [Lionel] Trilling in Greif...Much also of Susan Sontag...What he shares with both, and with the line they represent, is precisely a sense of intellect—of thought, of mind—as a conscious actor in the world."

Over the past eleven years, Greif has been pub­lishing superb, and in some cases already famous, es­says in n+1, the high-profile little magazine that he co-founded. These essays address such key topics in the cultural, political, and intellectual life of our time as the tyranny of exercise, the tyranny of nutrition and food snobbery, the sexualization of childhood (and ev­erything else), the philosophical meaning of Radiohead, the rise and fall of the hipster, the impact of the Occupy Wall...
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awards
      • source: The National Book Critics Circle
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publisher
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group