Ted Gioia
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The Best Online Essays of 2015

“Against Chill: A Romantic Manifesto” by Alana Massey
Medium, April 1, 2015

“Searching the Desert for the Blues” by Peter Guralnick
Oxford American, November 18, 2015

“What’s Wrong with Public Intellectuals?” by Mark Greif
The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 13, 2015

“Body of Work: The Dying Philosopher” by Costica Bradatan
Los Angeles Review of Books, Seoptember 27, 2015

“Did Rock and Roll Pacify America?” by Spencer Kornhaber
The Atlantic, July 11, 2015

“Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One” by Ryan Boudinot
The Stranger, February 27, 2015

“Fighting for Literature in an Age of Algorithms” by Caleb Crain
Harper’s, June 16, 2015

“The Drum Thing” by Ethan Iverson
Do the Math, February 24, 2015

“Homer in the Tropics” by Alexander Suebsaeng
The New Criterion, March 2015

“Songs in the Key of Zzz: The History of Sleep Music” by Philip Sherburne
Pitchfork, October 20, 2015

“The Drone Papers” by various authors, edited by Betsey Reed
The Intercept, October 15, 2015

“Books are Dangerous” by Frank Furedi
Aeon, November 5, 2015

“Susan Sontag: Critic and Crusader” by Steve Wasserman
Los Angeles Review of Books, July 1, 2015

“The Invention of the Wah-Wah Pedal” by Zachary Crockett
Priceonomics, November 5, 2015

“Rick Moody is Now a Life Coach” by Rick Moody
Lit Hub,  November 9, 2015

“How Art Reveals the Limits of Neuroscience” by Alva Noë
Chronicle of Higher Education, September 8, 2015

“So What is Post-Internet Music, Anyway?” by Robert Barry
Thump, November 11, 2015

“Humanist Among Machines” by Ian Beacock
Aeon, June 25, 2015

“Something to Write Holmes About” by Michael Dirda
Lapham’s Quarterly, November 23, 2015

“When Words Sold Music” by Spencer Kornhaber
The Atlantic, June 16, 2015

“Wittgenstein, Schoolteacher” by Spencer Robins
The Paris Review, March 5, 2015

“Do Some Musicologists Really Like Music?” by Ian Pace
Desiring Progress, April 12, 2015

“There is No Theory of Everything” by Simon Critchley
New York Times, September 12, 2015

“Inside the Shadowy Business of Prison Phone Calls” by Eric Markowitz
International Business Times, July 10, 2015

“The Writing Assignment That Changes Lives” by Anya Kamenetz
NPR, July 10, 2015

“The Vocal Life Coach” by Peter Hoslin
Buzzfeed, January 23, 2015

“The Life and Times of Alfred A. Knopf” by Chip McGrath
Literary Hub, October 1, 2015

“How the Red Cross Raised a Half Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes” by Laura Sullivan and Justin Elliott
Pro Publica, June 3, 2015

Glamorous Crossing: How Pan Am Airways Dominated International Travel in the 1930s by Meredith Hindley
Longreads, February 10, 2015

“The Great Divide” by Mohsin Hamid
The New York Times Magazine, February 18, 2015

“How Tom Wolfe Became Tom Wolfe” by Michael Lewis
Vanity Fair, October 31, 2015

“Hacking the Humanities” by Elias Muhanna
The New Yorker, July 7, 2015

“The Mysterious, Anonymous Author Elena Ferrante on the Conclusion of Her Neapolitan Novels” by Elissa Schappell
Vanity Fair, August 27, 2015

“Identity Crisis: The Secret World of Aliases” by Chalrie Pite
DJBroadcast, August 4, 2015

“The Story Trap” by Philip Ball
Aeon, November 12, 2015

“Why Do All Records Sound the Same?” by Tom Whitwell
Cuepoint, January 9, 2015

“Drums, Lies, and Audiotape” by Alexander Gelfand
Nautilus, November 5, 2015

Teachings: A Summer Stint In A Hospital, Where Poetry Is Necessary Medicine” by Win Bassett
Poetry Foundation, May 27, 2015

“Shakespeare in Tehran” by Stephen Greenblatt
New York Review of Books, April 2, 2015

“The End of the Hoop Dream” by Jordan Ritter Conn
Grantland, August 6, 2015

“The Coddling of the American Mind” by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
The Atlantic, August 10, 2015

“Saying Goodbye to a Secret Bookstore” by Brian Patrick Eha
The New Yorker, August 6, 2015

“Oh Adjunct! My Adjunct!” by Carmen Maria Machado
The New Yorker, March 25, 2015

“Jazz Remix” by Ethan Hein
New Music Box, March 30, 2015

“Strange Attractor: On James Merrill (and Myself) In and Out of the Classroom” by Judith Moffett
The Smart Set, July 23, 2015

“Why an Imperfect Version of Proust is a Classic in English” by Adam Gopnik
The New Yorker, March 30, 2015

“Do You Want Poptimism? Or Do You Want the Truth?” by Chris Richards
The Washington Post, April 17, 2015

“What to Make of Heidegger in 2015?” by Santiago Zabala
Commentary, June 24, 2015

“The Neoliberal Arts: How College Sold Its Soul to the Market” by William Deresiewicz
Harper’s, September, 2015

“Writers Shouldn’t Romanticize Rejection” by Kavita Das
The Atlantic, November 7, 2015

“Difficult, Dated, Frustrating, Prophetic: Teaching Thomas Pynchon” by Nick Ripatrazone
The Millions, April 3, 2015

“Listen to the Future” by Alex Ross
The New Yorker, April 11, 2015

“The Dimming of the Light” by Sudhir Hazareesingh
Aeon, September 22, 2015

“What Old Age is Really Like” by Ceridwen Dovey
The New Yorker, October 1, 2015

“Writing in Cafés: A Personal History” by Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft
Los Angeles Review of Books, September 9, 2015

“More Titillated Than Thou: How the Amish Conquered the Evangelical Romance Market” by Ann Neumann
The Baffler, August 31, 2015

“Humanism, Science, and the Radical Expansion of the Possible” by Marilynne Robinson
The Nation, October 22, 2015

“Whatever Happened to High Culture” by Joseph Epstein
The Weekly Standard, November 9, 2015

“Jeremy England, The Man Who May One-Up Darwin” by Meghan Walsh
Oxy, April 20, 2015

“Is There Any Such Thing as a Career in Digital Journalism?” by Felix Salmon
Fusion, April 21, 2015

“The Inventor of Auto-Tune” by Zachary Crockett
Priceonomics, December 14, 2015

“Why College Kids Are Avoiding the Study of Literature” by Gary Saul Morson
Commentary, July 1, 2015

“See Through Words” by Michael Erard
Aeon, June 9, 2015

“Did Nielsen Kill the Radio Star?” by Carl Bialik
FiveThirtyEight,  June 30, 2015

“Leaving Los Angeles” by Scott Timberg
Los Angeles, July 6, 2015

“What Global English Means for World Literature” by Haruo Shirane
Public Books, October 1, 2015

“My Writing Education: A Timeline” by George Saunders
The New Yorker, October 22, 2015

“Suffering is One Very Long Moment: How Oscar Wilde’s Prison Sentence Changed Him” by Max Nelson
The Paris Review, October 13, 2015

“The Private Intellectual” by Tobi Haslett
The New Yorker, October 19, 2015

"When Nothing is Cool" by Lisa Ruddick
The Point, December 10, 2015

“The Loss of Faith Made Music Mute” by Oliver Rudland
Standpoint, March 2015

"Life Itself" by Bruce Bawer
The Hudson Review, January 2015

"What ISIS Really Wants” by Graeme Wood
The Atlantic, April 21, 2015

“How Art Became Irrelevant” by Michael J. Lewis
Commentary, July 1, 2015

“The Devaluation of Music: It’s Worse Than You Think” by Craig Havighurst
Cuepoint, October 11, 2015

“The Light of Suffering: Thomas Hardy in 21st-Century Florida” by Evan McGarvey
The Millions, October 22, 2015

“The Blue-Collar King: An Interview with Stephen King” by Angela S. Allan
Los Angeles Review of Books, October 25, 2015
Here is a list, in no particular
order, of articles I enjoyed
during 2015. They are mostly
longform essays, with a focus
on arts, culture and humanities,
but with a few on sociopolitical
subjects relating to the key

human rights and civil liberties
issues of our time. T.G.

For a list of my favorite
recordings of the year,
click here.
Selected articles by Ted Gioia
available on the web

The African Origins of the Love Song
The Rise of the Fragmented Novel
Why Are Music Scholars Ignoring Musical
The Adventurer's Guide to Finnegans Wake
Notes on Conceptual Fiction
Has Music Criticism Turned Into Lifestyle Reporting?
Vladimir Nabokov, Sci-Fi Writer
If John Coltrane Had Lived
The Decline of Satire
The Backlash Against Jazz
The Con Man Who Invented American Pop Music
The Bumbling Shostakovich
The Rise of Artisan Music
What We've Learned About the NSA
The 8 Memes of the Postmodern Mystery
Ted Gioia Interviews Composer Terry Riley
Why the Fuss About Jonathan Franzen?
How Bondage Shaped the Love Song
A Conversation About Jazz with Ted Gioia
The 100 Best Recordings of 2014
The 100 Best Recordings of 2013
The 100 Best Recordings of 2012
The 100 Best Recordings of 2011
The Weirdest 1960s Novel of Them All
Franco: The James Brown of Africa
How Alice Got to Wonderland
The King of Western Swing
Post Cool
The Year of Magical Reading
How to Fix Online Music
My 10 Favorite Novels on Music
A Conversation with Ted Gioia about Love Songs
The Music of the Tango
The Letter That Changed the Course of Modern Lit
Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook
Do Blues Musicians Need to be Really Old?
The Unconventional Sci-Fi of Kurt Vonnegut
Twelve Essential Tango Recordings
Alan Lomax and the FBI
Robert Musil and The Man Without Qualities
A History of Cool Jazz in 100 Tracks
Why Only Revolutions Will Not Be Televised
David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest
The Crisis in Music (video lecture)
How Music Videos Changed Love Songs
Why Bessie Smith Matters
The New Revolt of the Masses
Apple's New Paradigm for Music
Fix-Up Artist: The Chaotic SF of A.E. van Vogt
Jazz Vocals in the New Millennium
A History of New Orleans Music in 100 Tracks
The Making of Ulysses
The Great American Novel That Wasn't
In Search of Dupree Bolton
Gulliver's Travels and the Birth of Genre Fiction
Five Essays on Novelist John Fowles
Where Did Our Revolution Go?
How Lester Young Changed the English Language
The Reinvention of the Cowboy Novel
The Many Lives of James Joyce
The Complex Gender History of the Love Song
William Gaddis's The Recognitions
5 Lessons the Music Biz Can Learn from TV
Hipsters: The New Scapegoats
B.B. King's Best Performances
The Most Mysterious Woman in Sci-Fi
12 Memorable Works of Hispanic Fiction
Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice
The Alt Reality Nobel Prize
The Decline of a Great Jazz Record Label
Don DeLillo's Underworld
Milton Nascimento: 12 Essential Tracks
When Science Fiction Grew Up
The Most Influential Film of the 20th Century
Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch
Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections
Curse You, Neil Armstrong!
Bill Evans: 12 Essential Tracks
Early Vintage Wynton Marsalis
Remembering Cordwainer Smith
My Favorite American Novel
Q&A with Ted Gioia
The Jazz Pianist JFK Saved
A Look Back at Martin Gardner
Robert Heinlein at One Hundred
The Fourteen Skies of Michael Chabon
Is Bird Dead?
Philip K. Dick's VALIS
Why Lester Young Matters
Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire
Who is Grace Kelly?
Italo Calvino's Winter's NIght
Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude
Could Chet Baker Play Jazz?
Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow
The Jazzy Side of Frank Zappa
Fritz Leiber at 100
Günter Grass's The Tin Drum
David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas
Harlem Jazz: 12 Essential Tracks
Mark Z. Danielweski's House of Leaves
The Postmodern Mystery: 50 Essential Works
Art Tatum at 100: 12 Essential Tracks
Fringe Guitar
J.G. Ballard's Crash
Interview with Dana and Ted Gioia
The Puzzling Case of Robert Sheckley
Robert Johnson and the Devil
Fear and Self-Loathing in Scandinavia
Herbie Hancock: 12 Essential Tracks
Remembering Drums of Passion
Keith Jarrett: 12 Essential Tracks
In Defense of The Hobbit
Brad Mehldau: 12 Essential Tracks
David Foster Wallace's The Pale King
The South Asian Tinge in Jazz
Assessing Brad Mehldau at Mid-Career
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian
Can Clubs Legally Ask Musicians to Play for Free?
Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones
Lennie Tristano: 12 Essential Tracks
Virginia Woolf's Orlando
Why Cool is Dead
A Tribute to Richard Matheson
Denny Zeitlin on Mosaic
The Chronicles of Narnia
Tito Puente: The Complete 78s (1949-1955)
Toni Morrison's Beloved
The Tragedy of Richard Twardzik
Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue
The Science Fiction of Samuel Delany
Can Tarzan Survive in a Post-Colonial World?
Ian McEwan's Atonement
Can a Dictionary be a Novel?
New Details About the Young William Gaddis
Interview with Ted Gioia (on Delta Blues)
William Gaddis's JR
Roberto Bolaño's 2666
Talking to Myself About the State of Jazz
Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain
Italo Calvino's Neglected Sci-Fi Masterpiece
Philip Roth's American Pastoral
Ken Kesey's Novel-in-a-Box
How I Learned I Was a Jazz Fan
Ted Gioia can be contacted at

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