Jason Diamond

Literary Editor

Jason Diamond is the literary editor at Flavorwire and founder of Vol. 1 Brooklyn. His work has been published by the New York Times, The Paris Review, New York, the New York Observer, Tablet, and many other places. He tweets a lot about his dog, books, and more.

Features

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The Best Things We Read on the Internet This Week: Helen DeWitt’s Diary, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This time around: Helen DeWitt’s diary entry, the history of pants, the weird history of the heroes in a half shell, and more.
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6 Great Examples of Dirty and Gritty American Fiction

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In the introduction to the latest (and best issue in quite some time) of Granta, “American Wild,” editor Sigrid Rausing tells a story about hitting the open road across America in the early 1980s and coming to the realization that, “this is America: a genuinely wild land.” The anecdote got us to thinking about books that really capture the raw beauty, as well as the dangers, that America has to offer from sea to shining sea. These are novels that especially evoke mental imagery of broken down towns, large swaths of wilderness, and other places you might not want to get lost in.
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Andy Warhol’s Guide to Life

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Andy Warhol’s legacy has grown and grown and, since his death in 1987, taken on a life of its own in this 21st-century world where it seems everybody is trying to be famous for 15 minutes. Whether you think of him as a painter, filmmaker, businessman, scam artist, genius, philosopher, thief, prophet, or phoney, you can’t deny Warhol’s influence on contemporary culture. Just scanning through a copy of his book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol reveals plenty of the wisdom we associate with Warhol. Whether he actually came up with the ideas or stole them (as he was known to do) is anybody’s guess — but there’s a lot that any modern-day fame seeker or regular Joe can get from reading a copy today. Since he was born on this day in 1928, sharing some of that advice seems like a decent way to celebrate his birthday.
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The Grateful Dead Are History’s Most Misunderstood Punk Band

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If I have one claim to fame, it’s what I did on the night of July 9, 1995. The only recognition I’d ask for would be a T-shirt that says, “I went to the last Grateful Dead concert, and all I got was high from smoking weed out of a Milwaukee’s Best can and this lousy T-shirt.” The show itself wasn’t much to write home about, or at least that’s what the commenters on Archive.org say about it: selfimportantdeadhead, who gave the show two stars, says, “we all should have stopped buying tickets,” and basically blames Dead fans for Jerry Garcia’s death exactly a month to the day after the show at Soldier’s Field. Reviewer Let’s All Be Cheerful, contrary to the name, says, “[T]he set list is poop and the performance borderline embarrassing. Saying otherwise is akin to applauding for your child when he strikes out five times in Little League.” The same user then points out, “Which is perfectly okay,” because, “sometimes love trumps the truth.” I wouldn’t know, because I was acting like a punk-rock jerk during the entire show.
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12 Hilarious Black Flag Logo Parodies

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The Black Flag logo parody is one of those memes that you’d think would be played out by now, almost four decades into the band’s existence. Somehow, though, somebody always figures out a way to keep it going, adding a new twist to the iconic punk logo designed by Raymond Pettibon.
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Stereotyping Your College Roommate by Their Favorite Book

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As we approach the time of the year when students start trickling in to college campuses, decorating their dorm rooms with stuff from IKEA and Target and trying really hard to sound like they know what they’re talking about, many incoming freshmen are surely wondering what their new roommates will be like. And although the surveys schools use to match night owls and messy kids with others who share their habits may cover the basics, you can tell a lot more about a person by looking at the prized books they lug along with them to make sure their classmates can tell how cultured they are. Here are a few common picks, and what they say about the 18-year-old who loves them.
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The Best Things We Read on the Internet This Week: From ’80s Thrash Metal to Cybersex in the ’90s

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Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This time around: borderline NSFW stuff, heavy metal in the ’80s, and more.
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10 Must-Read Books for August

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It’s August? Isn’t the eighth month on the calendar supposed to be a hot wasteland for new books coming out? Isn’t the entire publishing industry at the beach, with one big “On vacation — back September 1st” sign showing up in automatic-response emails, much to the chagrin of brave book critics and bloggers everywhere? Maybe it used to be that way, but with a new Haruki Murakami novel, Roxane Gay’s collection of essays, and several other books you’ll be hearing about for a long time to come, this August is one to look forward… Read More

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5 Great James Wolcott Pieces You Can Read Online

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As much as we like to talk about how little book awards matter, sometimes an entirely deserving writer wins one and we just have to take a moment to appreciate the appreciation. Such is the case with James Wolcott taking home the PEN/Diamonstein­-Spielvogel Award for the art of the essay with his collection, Critical Mass. Honoring that book is a celebration of Wolcott, who for years has been one of America’s finest cultural critics, and no matter how little you care about literary awards, that’s a very fine thing indeed.
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5 Great Midwestern Novels You May Have Missed

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We’ve talked about how great the Midwest is for writers today, but from Hemingway’s Michigan to Bellow’s Chicago and Cather’s Nebraska, the region has always provided readers with plenty of great literature over the years. Since this week marks the birthday of Indiana’s own Booth Tarkington, we thought of a few novels from the region that you may have overlooked, and should consider placing on your bookshelf alongside Augie March and Sister Carrie.
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