Ralph Clare

Ralph Clare is Assistant Professor of English at Boise State University, specializing in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature.  He has recently published essays on Richard Powers, David Foster Wallace, William Gaddis, and Kurt Vonnegut.  His book, Fictions Ltd.: The Corporation in Postmodern American Fiction, Film, and Popular Culture, is currently under contract with Rutgers UP. 

Essays by this author

Of Pilgrims and Anarchists


Time to get anarchic! Ralph Clare’s review of A Corrupted Pilgrim’s Guide, the first scholarly take on Thomas Pynchon’s 2006 Against the Day, zooms in and illuminates the novel’s anarchist framework as the major claim and long-term contribution of the collection. The aesthetics and ethics of anarchism turn out to be not merely a theme in the novel’s setting - the late ninetieth to early twentieth-century - but the way it impinges on our current situation.

And the Last Shall Be the First


Ralph Clare sees the new essay collection on William Gaddis as engaging a growing reassessment of the novelist’s work. Taking up the task of moving the scholarship past the postmodern theories that framed and determined it for some time, Clare argues that ‘The Last of Something’ turns out to be the beginning of something more. Approaches in the collection range from new forms of biographical and contextual criticism, to theories of data storage and “bare life,” but the nuance and ambition of the scholarship re-asserts the relevance of Gaddis.