About Cody Walker

Cody Walker's most recent book is The Self-Styled No-Child (Waywiser, 2016).

Clowns and War Stories (Part One)

In last week’s New York Times, Jason Zinoman wrote about sad and creepy clowns.* His central question: “How did red noses become such bad news?” Zinoman identifies the late ’80s and early ’90s as a transitional time for clowns, as…

Un-Valentine’s Day

Just as Humpty Dumpty celebrated un-birthdays, some of us at the University of Michigan on Monday celebrated Un-Valentine’s Day. Our cupcakes were topped with hearts, yes; but they were also topped with swords impaling those hearts. Four faculty members read…

The Sultan of Nonsense

Last week, on this blog, I asked a question that I didn’t try to answer: “Where is the great nonsense of our time?” Might it be found in the lines of Loren Goodman? I’ve taught Famous Americans, Goodman’s 2003 debut…

Clowns and Art

In “Fun That’s No Fun,” the preface to Cindy Sherman’s book of 2003-2004 clown photographs, Maik Schlüter writes, “The act of fun is forever orbiting the tragedy of life.” You can see this tension, I think, in Sherman’s portraits: her…

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