Jared Marcel Pollen

Jared Marcel Pollen

Jared Marcel Pollen is the author of The Unified Field of Loneliness. His work has appeared in LARB, Tablet, Liberties, and 3:AM. His debut novel, Venus&Document, will be published in spring 2022.

Piketty’s Progress

Piketty’s Progress

A review of A Brief History of Equality by Thomas Piketty, Belknap Press, 288 pages (April 2022) As I write this, the city of Rotterdam is considering a request to dismantle one of its historic bridges to grant Jeff Bezos’s super-yacht (too monstrous for normal ports) safe passage to

Jared Marcel Pollen
Jared Marcel Pollen
10 min read
Politics
A World of Waste, Stripped of Transcendence: James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ at 100

A World of Waste, Stripped of Transcendence: James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ at 100

Few novels become institutions, to have departments rigged up around them, whole constituencies and spheres of scholarship, as works of lifelong study, fascination and confusion. Ulysses, whose publication centenary will be observed on February 2nd, is one such book. Like Marx’s Kapital, Joyce’s door-stopping opus has kept academics

Jared Marcel Pollen
Jared Marcel Pollen
13 min read
James Joyce
‘Woke Racism’—A Review

‘Woke Racism’—A Review

A review of Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America by John McWhorter. Portfolio, 224 pages. (October, 2021) If you had told someone a decade ago—after the election of the first black president, and in anticipation of the first black female vice president—that race relations

Jared Marcel Pollen
Jared Marcel Pollen
10 min read
Politics
Mrs. Dalloway: Secularism and Its Enchantments

Mrs. Dalloway: Secularism and Its Enchantments

1922 is one of those spooky years in the history of literature, when several revolutionary things seemed to be taking place at once. At the time, Virginia Woolf was still a minor figure in the publishing scene, but she was in the beginnings of her literary chrysalis. She had recently

Jared Marcel Pollen
Jared Marcel Pollen
12 min read
Review
Blessed Are the Sense-Makers

Blessed Are the Sense-Makers

Years from now, if anyone looks at a line graph (in the OED or Google dictionary) tracking the frequency with which a word is mentioned in print, they may notice the current affinity for the word “narrative.” An already overworked word (by virtue of its abstractness), it is now almost

Jared Marcel Pollen
Jared Marcel Pollen
10 min read
History
Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe—A Review

Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe—A Review

A review of Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe by Niall Ferguson. Allen Lane, 496 pages (May 2021) Viewed from a certain angle, history appears to be the legacy of our errors—the record of humanity risking too much and anticipating too little, getting things wrong and getting them wrong all

Jared Marcel Pollen
Jared Marcel Pollen
9 min read
History
Oscar Wilde’s Utopia

Oscar Wilde’s Utopia

Not that I love thy children, whose dull eyes See nothing save their own unlovely woe, Whose minds know nothing, nothing care to know,— This is the opening verse of Oscar Wilde’s “Sonnet to Liberty.” Beyond its apparent cynicism, it elegantly encapsulates the acute miseries of youth—solipsistic, impatient,

Jared Marcel Pollen
Jared Marcel Pollen
9 min read
Poetry
Inside Story—A Review

Inside Story—A Review

A review of Inside Story by Martin Amis. Knopf, 560 pages. (October 2020) As literature’s cultural relevance washes out on the high tide of digital media, self-absorption becomes the order of the day. Those who can still be bothered to write “serious” books aren’t interested in telling other

Jared Marcel Pollen
Jared Marcel Pollen
8 min read
Books