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Points of Attack

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In this collage of critical reflections, written in the tradition of the short essay running through Francis Bacon and Roland Barthes, the novelist, philosopher, and former New York Times Opinion staffer Mark de Silva looks into matters of both common curiosity and special concern in America today: technological evolution, virtuality, terrorism, the future of the self, the In this collage of critical reflections, written in the tradition of the short essay running through Francis Bacon and Roland Barthes, the novelist, philosopher, and former New York Times Opinion staffer Mark de Silva looks into matters of both common curiosity and special concern in America today: technological evolution, virtuality, terrorism, the future of the self, the individual’s place in a globalized society, the species’ place in the natural world, the state of the arts, and the animadversions of the sciences. Above all, Points of Attack is a handbook of the ways of the good life in bad times, and an inoculation against presumption in an era when the axioms of liberal democratic life have come undone and the end of history once again appears a long way off.


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In this collage of critical reflections, written in the tradition of the short essay running through Francis Bacon and Roland Barthes, the novelist, philosopher, and former New York Times Opinion staffer Mark de Silva looks into matters of both common curiosity and special concern in America today: technological evolution, virtuality, terrorism, the future of the self, the In this collage of critical reflections, written in the tradition of the short essay running through Francis Bacon and Roland Barthes, the novelist, philosopher, and former New York Times Opinion staffer Mark de Silva looks into matters of both common curiosity and special concern in America today: technological evolution, virtuality, terrorism, the future of the self, the individual’s place in a globalized society, the species’ place in the natural world, the state of the arts, and the animadversions of the sciences. Above all, Points of Attack is a handbook of the ways of the good life in bad times, and an inoculation against presumption in an era when the axioms of liberal democratic life have come undone and the end of history once again appears a long way off.

41 review for Points of Attack

  1. 5 out of 5

    Greg Gerke

    Review forthcoming... “…[T]he desire to feel a certain way about oneself or the world perverts the desire to know,” writes Mark de Silva on the last page of his electric book of short essays, Points of Attack.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ryo

    I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. It's hard to review a collection of 70+ short essays that cover such wide-ranging topics, from clowns to vegetarianism to e-sports to targeted advertising. It probably takes a more analytical mind than mine and a more careful reading than I did to fully appreciate the various points raised in these essays, but I did find it interesting to read careful dissections of everyday things that I never thought that much about or approached I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. It's hard to review a collection of 70+ short essays that cover such wide-ranging topics, from clowns to vegetarianism to e-sports to targeted advertising. It probably takes a more analytical mind than mine and a more careful reading than I did to fully appreciate the various points raised in these essays, but I did find it interesting to read careful dissections of everyday things that I never thought that much about or approached from a different angle. It stuck out to me since it was in the last essay, but the criticisms of specific living authors for their use of autobiographical elements in their fiction were not convincing to me; the essay didn't make me question that kind of fiction as being any less creative or good than other fiction. There was also an earlier essay about how Jonathan Franzen was likely to be less read in the future than other authors who write about more timeless, bigger topics than contemporary social fiction, but there's not yet conclusive evidence of that, and it seemed like it would have been more convincing to leave out the speculation on contemporary authors and just focus on the authors of the past named earlier in the essay. But those were just a couple of things that stood out to me in dozens of dozens of essays.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gwen Gillham

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lucianna Wolfstone

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Allen

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia Tan

  7. 5 out of 5

    Craig

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ollo

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Connerley Nahm

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christoph Paul

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark De

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael Prenez-isbell

  14. 4 out of 5

    modes

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Lanigan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melon109

  17. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  19. 5 out of 5

    Albert Willem Mordhort

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  21. 4 out of 5

    John

  22. 4 out of 5

    John Mord

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leah

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Peterson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Denise

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen Schlott

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melisa Dowling

  29. 5 out of 5

    James

  30. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  31. 5 out of 5

    Traci

  32. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  33. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ahmed

  34. 5 out of 5

    James Cozzarelli

  35. 4 out of 5

    Steff

  36. 4 out of 5

    Connie Wilson

  37. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  38. 5 out of 5

    Christina Stockard

  39. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  40. 5 out of 5

    Book-Lover

  41. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Hohler

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