University of Southern Mississippi

Taylor Swift joins Rilke in Michael Robbins' 'Equipment for Living,' reviewed by Justin Taylor

Taylor Swift joins Rilke in Michael Robbins' 'Equipment for Living,' reviewed by Justin Taylor

“Criticism is parasitic literature,” writes Michael Robbins, the poet and critic, in his new book, “Equipment for Living: On Poetry and Pop Music,” a collection of his recent criticism, which I in turn have been tasked with criticizing. Where to start?

Maybe best to begin with Robbins himself. An English PhD who mostly eschews traditional academic scholarship, he’s the author of two collections of poems, “Alien vs. Predator” and “The Second Sex.” You may have noticed that both titles are borrowed. The original “Alien vs. Predator” was a movie, the first installment in what became a very bad and successful franchise, though the word “original” is a bit fraught here since the film...

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