Ted Gioia
Follow Ted Gioia on Twitter at
The Best Online Essays of 2018

“The Counterfeit Queen of Soul” by Jeff Maysh
Smithsonian, July 1, 2018

“How Shanties and Songs of the Sea Helped Me Weather the Storm of Depression” by Blair Thornburgh
Catapult, August 6, 2018

“A Music So Beautiful Birds Fell from the Trees” by Maija Liuhto
Longreads, June 27, 2018

“The Strange Case of the Missing Joyce Scholar” by Jack Hitt
The New York Times Magazine, June 12, 2018

“All-Too-Easy Listening: The Music Industry Sells Classical as Soothing Background Music—
Robbing a Great Art of Its Power” by Jennifer Gersten
The Washington Post, November 30, 2018

“Music and My Father” by Gabrielle Bellot
Literary Hub, April 10, 2018

“I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It” by Kevin Alexander
Thrillist, November 16, 2018

“Is the Next Nobel Laureate in Literature Tending Bar in a Dusty Australian Town?” by Mark Binelli
The New York Times Magazine, March 27, 2018

“Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, and the Road to West Side Story” by Laura Jacobs
Vanity Fair, January 3, 2018

“A Radical Explanation for a Conundrum About Extraterrestrial Life, and What it Means for the
Future of Humanity” by Geoffrey Miller
Seed Magazine, April 26, 2018

“Shouldn’t Studying Literature Be Fun?” by Timothy Aubry
The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 2, 2018

“This Must Be David Byrne” by Alex Pappademas
GQ, April 15, 2018

“The Art and Science of Being on Hold” by Damian Fowler
BBC, August 20, 2018

“The Story of Untranslated” by Anonymous
The Untranslated, November 16, 2018

“What Are We? On Paul Gaugin, Authenticity and the Midlife Crisis: How the Philosopher Bernard Williams
Dramatised Moral Luck”
by Daniel Callcut
Aeon, June 11, 2018

“Inside The OED: Can The World’s Biggest Dictionary Survive The Internet?” by Andrew Dickson
The Guardian, February 23, 2018

“Bob in China” by Bo Seo
Los Angeles Review of Books, February 25, 2018

“The Consciousness Deniers” by Galen Strawson
New York Review of Books, March 13, 2018

“How Monet Created Motion Pictures” by Jeffrey Meyers
Standpoint, June, 2018

“A Natural History of Song” by Samuel Mehr, Manvir Singh, Dean Knox, Christopher Lucas, Daniel
Ketter, Daniel Pickens-Jones, Nori Jacoby, Timothy O'Donnell, Steven Pinker, Max Krasnow, and
Luke Glowacki
Harvard Music Lab working paper, November 21, 2018

“Writing and Alcohol: A Reckoning” by Sophie Gilbert
The Atlantic, April 6, 2018

“Deep River” by Will Bostwick
Oxford American, September 4, 2018

“Delete Your Account Now: A conversation with Jaron Lanier” by Harper Simon
Los Angeles Review of Books, October 8, 2018

“Ovid’s Game” by Donna Zuckerberg
Lapham’s Quarterly, October 8, 2018

“Letter to an Aspiring Intellectual” by Paul J. Griffiths
First Things, May 2018

“Alan Broadbent: Intimate Reflections on a Passion for Jazz” by Victor L. Schermer
All About Jazz, October 12, 2018

“The New York Times Fired My Doppelgänger” by Quinn Norton
The Atlantic, February 27, 2018

“Truth, Lies and Literature” by Salman Rushdie
The New Yorker, May 31, 2018

“Even in Old Age, Philosopher Bryan Magee Remains Wonder-Struck by the Ultimate Questions”
by Jason Cowley
New Statesman, April 8, 2018

“Exploring Buried Treasure in Plain Sight” by Jeff Sultanof
Rifftides, March 30, 2018

“How Shakespeare's 'Blood Cult’ Became Ted Hughes’s Fatal Obsession” by Robert McCrum
The Guardian, October 27, 2018

“The Secret Lives of Composers Who Work in the Trades” by Chris Sivak
New Music Box, October 24, 2018

“Inside the Booming Black Market for Spotify Playlists” by Austin Powell
The Daily Dot, March 12, 2018

“The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma” by Junot Díaz
The New Yorker, April 16, 2018

“The Death of Sacred Speech” by Jonathan Merritt
The Week, September 10, 2018

“The Tragedy of Electronic Music” by Spencer Kornhaber
The Atlantic, November 26, 2018

“Strange and Intelligent” by Christy Wampole
Aeon, October 25, 2018

“The Last Intellectual” by Claude Rawson
TLS, December 11, 2018

“What Do Our Oldest Books Say About Us” by Josephine Livingstone
The New Republic, November 7, 2018

“Is Neuroscience a Bigger Threat Than Artificial Intelligence?” by Alex Rosenberg
3:AM Magazine, November 2, 2018
Here is a list, in no particular order, of
essays and articles I enjoyed during
2018. They are mostly longform essays,
with a focus on music and culture, but
with a few articles on other subjects
included as well.

For a list of my favorite recordings of
the year,
click here.
Ted Gioia can be contacted at

Also visit
Great Books Guide
The New Canon
Conceptual Fiction
Postmodern Mystery
Fractious Fiction
Ted's Twitter Feed
Coming in 2019 from Basic Books:

Ted Gioia's new book
Music: A Subversive History
Selected articles by Ted Gioia on the web

The African Origins of the Love Song
The Rise of the Fragmented Novel
Why Are Music Scholars Ignoring Musical Universals?
The Adventurer's Guide to Finnegans Wake
Notes on Conceptual Fiction
Has Music Criticism Turned Into Lifestyle Reporting?
Schopenhauer for Millennials
Vladimir Nabokov, Sci-Fi Writer
How Sartre Cured Existential Angst with Jazz
If John Coltrane Had Lived
The Decline of Satire
My Year of Horrible Reading
The Backlash Against Jazz
The Con Man Who Invented American Popular Music
The Bumbling Shostakovich
Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp
The Rise of Artisan Music
The Year American Speech Became Art
What We've Learned About the NSA
The 8 Memes of the Postmodern Mystery
Ted Gioia Interviews Composer Terry Riley
Why the Fuss About Jonathan Franzen?
Slaves for Love: How Bondage Shaped the Love Song
A Conversation About Jazz with Ted Gioia
The 100 Best Recordings of 2018
The 100 Best Recordings of 2017
The 100 Best Recordings of 2016
The 100 Best Recordings of 2015
The 100 Best Recordings of 2014
The 100 Best Recordings of 2013
The 100 Best Recordings of 2012
The 100 Best Recordings of 2011
The Weirdest 1960s Novel of Them All
Franco: The James Brown of Africa
How Alice Got to Wonderland
Does the Music Business Need Musicianship?
The King of Western Swing
Post Cool
The Year of Magical Reading
Why Music Owernship Matters
Frank Sinatra at 100
Ella Fitzgerald at 100
Music and Violence (video talk)
What is the Clumsiest Classic Novel?
The Crisis in Music (podcast)
The Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
How to Fix Online Music
My 10 Favorite Novels on Music
A Conversation with Ted Gioia about Love Songs
The Music of the Tango
The Letter That Changed the Course of Modern Lit
The End of the Angry Guitar
How Joan of Arc Conquered Mark Twain
The Most Intriguing Musicians of 2017
Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook
Do Blues Musicians Need to be Really, Really Old?
The Unconventional Sci-Fi of Kurt Vonnegut
Twelve Essential Tango Recordings
Alan Lomax and the FBI
Robert Musil and The Man Without Qualities
Cool Jazz in 100 Tracks (Part 1) (Part 2)
Lecture on the History of Love Songs
Henry James, Horror Writer
Why Only Revolutions Will Not Be Televised
David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest
The Crisis in Music (video lecture)
How Good a Singer Was Dean Martin?
How Music Videos Changed Love Songs
Why Bessie Smith Matters
The Zombification of Popular Music
The New Revolt of the Masses
Was Ambrose Bierce Inspired by Agoraphobia?
Apple's New Paradigm for Music
Fix-Up Artist: The Chaotic SF of A.E. van Vogt
Jazz Vocals in the New Millennium
A History of New Orleans Music in 100 Tracks
The Making of Ulysses
The Great American Novel That Wasn't
In Search of Dupree Bolton
Gulliver's Travels and the Birth of Genre Fiction
Five Essays on Novelist John Fowles
Where Did Our Revolution Go?
How Lester Young Changed the English Language
The Reinvention of the Cowboy Novel
The Many Lives of James Joyce
The Complex Gender History of the Love Song
William Gaddis's The Recognitions
5 Lessons the Music Biz Can Learn from TV
Hipsters: The New Scapegoats
B.B. King's Best Performances
The Most Mysterious Woman in Sci-Fi
12 Memorable Works of Hispanic Fiction
Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice
The Alt Reality Nobel Prize
The Decline of a Great Jazz Record Label
Don DeLillo's Underworld
How NY Became Center of the Jazz World
Milton Nascimento: 12 Essential Tracks
When Science Fiction Grew Up
The Most Influential Film of the 20th Century
Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch
Is Sleep Music a Real Genre?
Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections
Curse You, Neil Armstrong!
Bill Evans: 12 Essential Tracks
Early Vintage Wynton Marsalis
Remembering Cordwainer Smith
My Favorite American Novel
Q&A with Ted Gioia
The Jazz Pianist JFK Saved
A Look Back at Martin Gardner
Robert Heinlein at One Hundred
The Fourteen Skies of Michael Chabon
Is Bird Dead?
Philip K. Dick's VALIS
Why Lester Young Matters
Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire
Making a Case for Clark Ashton Smtih
Italo Calvino's Winter's NIght
Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude
Could Chet Baker Play Jazz?
Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow
The Jazzy Side of Frank Zappa
Fritz Leiber at 100
Günter Grass's The Tin Drum
John Coltrane: Prophet and Seer (video)
David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas
Harlem Jazz: 12 Essential Tracks
Mark Z. Danielweski's House of Leaves
The Postmodern Mystery: 50 Essential Works
Art Tatum at 100: 12 Essential Tracks
Fringe Guitar
J.G. Ballard's Crash
Interview with Dana and Ted Gioia
The Puzzling Case of Robert Sheckley
Robert Johnson and the Devil
Fear and Self-Loathing in Scandinavia
Herbie Hancock: 12 Essential Tracks
Remembering Drums of Passion
Three Existential Horror Novels
Keith Jarrett: 12 Essential Tracks
In Defense of The Hobbit
Brad Mehldau: 12 Essential Tracks
David Foster Wallace's The Pale King
The South Asian Tinge in Jazz
Assessing Brad Mehldau at Mid-Career
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian
Can Clubs Legally Ask Musicians to Play for Free?
Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones
Lennie Tristano: 12 Essential Tracks
Virginia Woolf's Orlando
Why Cool is Dead
A Tribute to Richard Matheson
The Pianism of Denny Zeitlin
The Chronicles of Narnia
David Bowie's Jazz-Oriented Valedictory
Tito Puente: The Complete 78s (1949-1955)
Toni Morrison's Beloved
The Tragedy of Richard Twardzik
Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue
The Science Fiction of Samuel Delany
Can Tarzan Survive in a Post-Colonial World?
Duke Ellington's Sacred Music
Ian McEwan's Atonement
Can a Dictionary be a Novel?
New Details About the Young William Gaddis
Interview with Ted Gioia (on Delta Blues)
William Gaddis's JR
Roberto Bolaño's 2666
Talking to Myself About the State of Jazz
Harper Lee and Her Great Southern Novel
Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain
Italo Calvino's Neglected Sci-Fi Masterpiece
Philip Roth's American Pastoral
Ken Kesey's Novel-in-a-Box
How I Learned I Was a Jazz Fan