Join me—a former indie bookseller in Los Angeles and current American Studies master’s student in Berlin—in thinking through certain parts of our world. Expect to read wide-ranging essays on books and language, technology and memes, TV and visual art. I work hard to integrate theory into careful prose—I write this newsletter to understand things myself. I’ve come to think of Sintext as a cognitive diary developing critical thought through cultural analysis.
The premise underlying Sintext hasn’t changed as it enters its second year: It’s worth paying close attention to the objects and experiences that define our lives, and it’s worth considering how they might be different.
Or don’t. This is a newsletter, but not a letter of news—it’s more a repository for observations and inquiries, deep-dives and mini-reviews. Some will be timely, but most won’t. The writing worth reading doesn’t have an expiration date. Check out an earlier post that catches your eye instead of the latest.
Past issues have covered:
My reasons for moving to Berlin (Sintext XIII)
Why there’s a limit to how meaningful Substacks can be (Sintext XII)
Marilynne Robinson’s enduring American exceptionalism (Sintext XI)
What the George Floyd protests taught my generation (Sintext X)
Vigdis Hjorth’s 2016 novel Will and Testament, Knausgård, narrative (Sintext IX)
Franco “Bifo” Berardi, and trying on theory like clothes (Sintext VIII)
Raymond Williams together with screenshots, TikToks, and memes (Sintext VII)
The word intractable plus other impending disasters we’re ignoring (Sintext VI)
Mike Bloomberg’s memes and an 18th-century British painting (Sintext V)
Guest writer Oriana Tang’s wisdom on US-China discourse (Sintext IV)
Scary AI, privacy, and Gretchen McCulloch’s Because Internet (Sintext III)
Kony 2012 and why utopian thinking matters (Sintext II)
Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley and Noam Chomsky’s emails (Sintext I)
These days I’m publishing sporadically, when I feel like I have something to say. Subscribe, if you’d like, so the next will land in your inbox. Sintext will always be free to read. I’ve (very passively) monetized it by building an affiliate Bookshop page. I’d get a tenth of any purchases you make through the link below.
My mailing list is almost 250 strong, and is starting to consist of more strangers who’ve found their way here, together with folks I know IRL. I’m reachable by email, and am always thrilled to hear from my readers.
Last updated: January 9, 2021.