Dismantling Rushmores: Field Notes from the Life of a Twenty-first-Century Novelist

I. White Elephant and Termite Postures Manny Farber’s “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art” is a characteristi­cally thrilling rhetorical gesture from a critic I adore and who bewil­ders me (by disliking movies I adore). According to Farber, “The three sins of white elephant art (1) frame the action with an all-over pattern,…