Micah Mattix

Micah Mattix is an assistant professor of literature at Houston Baptist University.

Scalia’s Literary Dissent


If John Keats is right that “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” Justice Antonin Scalia’s crafted dissent must be truer than Justice Anthony Kennedy’s flat majority opinion. His language is sharp and highly metaphorical as he argues that the majority opinion is “diseased,” leading not to order and health but to a cancerous chaos. Here are […]

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The Point of Criticism


The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia By Roger Kimball (St. Augustine’s Press, 347 pages, $35) WILLIAM GIRALDI’S recent thrashing of Alix Ohlin’s first two novels in the New York Times caused more than a small stir in the American literati. Among other things, Giraldi panned Ohlin’s weak plots and […]

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Occupied Poetry


There is a difference between propaganda and political art. Both attempt to influence viewers or readers to take some sort of action — whether it is to support this leader, protest that one, take up arms, or lay them down — and both tend to lack nuance and self-criticism, but propaganda more so. Propaganda is […]

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The Week in Arts and Letters: Authentic Art, Robert Hughes, Picnics, and Occupy!


Is art better than gold? Or is it fool’s gold?   We’re all lying Cretans. Robert Hughes, on the other hand, was brutally honest about himself and others: “The unexamined life, said Socrates, is not worth living. The memoirs of Julian Schnabel, such as they are, remind one that the converse is also true. The unlived life is […]

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François Hollande and the Arts


Following his defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy in May, President-Elect of France, François Hollande, reiterated his promise to raise the marginal tax rate to 75% on individuals making over a million Euros. While the tax has yet to be voted into law, it is already be affecting French business and, perhaps, French art. Hollande first proposed […]

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The Week in Art and Letters: Dana Gioia, Mona Lisa’s Bones, Hemingway’s Son, and Tom


Dana Gioia’s fourth book of poems is out–his first in eleven years. Gioia was head of the National Endowment of the Arts under President George W. Bush, and one of those rare poets who, à la Wallace Stevens, was an executive for a number of years before turning to writing full-time. If you haven’t read […]

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The Humans Are Dead


Last week, the word in the art and literary world was transgression. This week, it’s technology. Following the success of The Waste Land app, Faber and Touch Press have put together an app for Shakespeare’s Sonnets. I’ll buy it just to hear Patrick Stewart read . And it looks like Keanu Reeves can kiss his […]

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To Transgress or Not to Transgress


Art is transgressive, we’re told, but not all transgressions are equal. For example, write a book of poems called Babyf—er, and you’ll be rewarded with The Heimrad Bäcker Prize for Experimental Literature in German. Review more books by men than women, however, and you’ll be pie-charted by Canadians. Or dare to put on plays (like […]

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Poets and Capitalism


What is it with poets and capitalism? The two, it seems, are like oil and water. At the end of last year, Alice Oswald and John Kinsella withdrew their respective books from consideration for the T.S. Eliot Prize because the £15,000 award was being underwritten by Aurum Fund Management. Oswald suggested that it is unethical […]

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