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Andrew Ervin

ANDREW ERVIN is the author of the novel Burning Down George Orwell's House and the novella collection Extraordinary Renditions. His most recent book is Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World.

The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing

If the physical storage device for a work of art is destroyed—be it an Atari cartridge, VHS cassette, or 3.5˝ floppy diskette—what happens to the artwork itself? These days, probably not a damn thing. In this age of digital reproduction, there are likely to be more copies available a few clicks away on eBay. The aura is all but gone. Walter Benjamin is spinning vinyl in his grave.

In Conversation

Down Away from the Sun You’ll Burrow

Twenty Years After restores a chapter that Dumas once serialized in his native French but which has never before appeared in English. It also, as with the previous and future volumes, moves past the Victorian-era translations that were, per Ellsworth’s introduction, for an “audience that was uncomfortable with frank depictions of violence and sexuality.” Those old translations, he reminds us, “employed a style of elevated diction that was deemed appropriate for historical novels of the 19th century, but seems stiff, long-winded, and passive to today’s readers.” In Ellsworth’s hands, these stories of swashbuckling and all-for-one-and-one-for-all friendship feel new again. The Three Musketeers is an enormously entertaining tale for the ages.

In Conversation

Then I Put In My False Heart: SARAH ROSE ETTER in conversation with Andrew Ervin

In Sarah Rose Etter’s weird and wonderful new novel The Book of X, our protagonist Cassie is afflicted by a medical anomaly. “I was born a knot like my mother and her mother before her,” it begins. Each of the women in her family have their stomachs twisted into bulbous masses of flesh and muscle.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 20-JAN 21

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