About Cody Walker

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

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…

Clowns and Music

In the spring of 2014, a friend sent me an article that had appeared a few weeks earlier in Grantland. The article concerned a clown—“a really sad clown, sadder than all the others”—who communicated only through song. What’s more, the…

The Rhinoceros and the Hippopotamus

Where is the great nonsense of our time? You might say that our political world is replete with nonsense, but that’s not the kind of nonsense I mean. True nonsense is aware of itself as nonsense—in fact, that’s one of…

This Beautiful Skin of Ice

In yesterday’s scramble to learn what I could about the novelist Adrian Barnes, I happened upon several interviews and essays in which Barnes names Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as his favorite book. “Thanks to Alice’s strange world,” he writes, “I…

Land of Nod

In the past week I’ve read three books, each of which focuses on a different problem. In Laura van den Berg’s Find Me, the problem is memory. In Chester Brown’s Ed the Happy Clown, the problem is Ronald Reagan’s head…

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