“Novelty, Pattern, and Force in Richard Powers’s Orfeo,” Kathryn Hume, Orbit: A Journal of American Literature. 5(1). January 18, 2017. Richard Powers’s Orfeo pits novelty against familiar pattern, and explores the destructive effects of forcing something new to fit known patterns in art, science, and politics. The protagonist’s dedication to writing truly new music wrecks his, Read More
Richard Powers joins Deborah Treisman to read and discuss Steven Millhauser’s “A Visit,” from a 1997 issue of the The New Yorker, January 3, 2017 (podcast).
Host Frank Stasio speaks with musician Jonathan Bagg and composer Scott Lindroth about the literary inspiration behind Project Orfeo, on “The State of Things,” WUNC, September 21, 2016. Musician Jonathan Bagg, of Duke’s Ciompi String Quartet, enjoys putting on performances that combine the intellectual power of words with the emotional nuance of music. His, Read More
“A Famous Novelist and a Duke Composer Combine Their Powers in Project Orfeo,” by Dan Ruccia, IndyWeek, September 21, 2016. An interview with composer Scott Lindroth about Project Orfeo, based on the Powers novel. “Lindroth’s raving about the book to musicians Jonathan Bagg and Laura Gilbert led Gilbert to reveal that she had grown up with, Read More
“Polyphony beyond the Human: Animals, Music, and Community in Coetzee and Powers,” by Ben de Bruyn, Studies in the Novel, Volume 48, Number 3, Fall 2016 (pp. 364-383). Taking issue with the anthropocentric assumptions behind classic and recent work on sound in the novel, this paper draws attention to animal vocalizations in the writings, Read More
Pluralist Desires: Contemporary Historical Fiction and the End of the Cold War, by Philipp Löffler (Series: European Studies in North American Literature and Culture, Camden House, 2015). Chapter 6: Lukácsian Aesthetics, Self-Creation, and Richard Powers’s Plowing the Dark. Philipp Löffler explores the contemporary historical novel in conjunction with three cultural shifts that have crucially, Read More
The Biopolitics of Disability: Neoliberalism, Ablenationalism, and Peripheral Embodiment, by David T. Mitchell with Sharon L. Snyder (University of Michigan Press, 2015). Theorizing the role of disabled subjects in global consumer culture and the emergence of alternative crip/queer subjectivities in film, fiction, media, and art. In the neoliberal era, when human worth is measured by its relative utility, Read More
Pat Leach looks at “Orfeo: A Novel” by Richard Powers on All About Books, net Radio (Nebraska PBS), August 2015.
“Book Review: Orfeo,” by Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly, August 2015. “… although Time magazine has never announced him the Great American Novelist, he’s got a better claim to the title than any other writer in the country. When he dream-adapts some mythic source material, the result will always be worth intense scrutiny, even, Read More
“Dangerous Sounds,” review of Orfeo by Lara Buxbaum, Aerodrome, March 2015. The careful structuring of the novel shows Powers’s compositional genius…. My copy of the book is filled with post-it notes where I’ve marked lines which seemed to sing, awed by Powers’s mastery at the level of the sentence….
Orfeo is reviewed in Deccan Herald by Sundarshan Purohit, “A Life in Music,” February 1, 2015. Orfeo is a powerful, intricate story that plays out entirely through the mind of its lead character. As much as the story itself, the language and the vocabulary give it its distinctive flavour.
“Richards Powers on music, Twitter and his novels,” an interview by Tom Jackson, Sandusky Register, December 9, 2014. Powers was interviewed after flying back from New York City, where he did a reading at a concert on November 21, 2014, which featured music from Orfeo.