Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Multiple sticks of butter"

At 46, Doreen Giuliano reinvented herself. She dyed her hair blond and tanned at a salon. She left her white seven-bedroom, colonial-style house for a spare basement apartment three miles away. She took on a new name, and for about a year, she said, she rode her bicycle around her new neighborhood, trying to attract the gaze of a young man whom she badly wanted to get close to.
This was no midlife crisis, though. It was a one-woman sting operation.
—Kareem Fahim, "Disguised Mother woos Juror in Bid to Free Son," NYT

His writings were not the unpunctuated breathless screedlike verses you might expect, but on the other hand they weren't much better. He had apparently decided that the crime novel was the essential building block of literature, the constituent unit of its DNA, and he had set about reducing and recombining it—I could just about see the wheels turning in his head—much the way punk rockers had cloned and distilled and chopped up the standard Chuck Berry guitar riff. Each story, if that's what those things could be called, was a paragraph long, titled and signed, and each resembled a page of a crime novel if you were trying to read it while it whipped by on a conveyor belt. —Pinakothek

I must now reveal my grievous shortcoming as a cuber: I never learned the algorithms — the sequences of moves that, when performed a set number of times, guarantee that the colored squares will line up right. I worried that these tools, borrowed from someone else, might interfere with the intense intimacy with nonverbal thinking that the cube affords. And when you solve it by your own lights: the relief! When it first clicked for me, in 1983, I allowed myself a moment of pure self-admiration: I had pursued the right roads, doubled back on the right occasions, executed the right programs, kept the right goals in my head and seen the thing through. It seemed amazing: my brain works.
—Virginia Heffernan, The Medium, NYT Mag

As rents have moved up, however, and all I have done is move my bed to where my dresser used to be, those solicitous questions have grown fewer. It’s not rent control, but I am fast approaching the rent level known as “the steal,” the place where one becomes the object of envy.
I have earned this by doing nothing (much like a bottle of fine wine that improves by simply sitting on a shelf, or, more accurately, like the leak in my ceiling that always dries itself out eventually), but that is O.K. Every day in this city, people earn far more doing far less.
—Sloane Crosley, "Little Victories," NYT

Spelt, to my eye, didn’t look like farro, and from a stovetop behavioral standpoint, it quickly distinguished itself. In a panic I called my personal farro expert, Jennifer DeVore, explaining I couldn’t find farro so instead I bought. . . . “Oh, no,” she interrupted. “You didn’t buy spelt.” Farro cooks in about 45 minutes; we cooked our spelt for four hours, and even then the result was extremely al dente. We threw in multiple sticks of butter, gallons of stock and $13 worth of grated Parmesan, but the spelt remained stoically flavor-impervious. We served it anyway. Contrary to the claims of Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century spelt enthusiast, our guests did not find that eating it “makes the spirit of man light and cheerful.”
—Heidi Julavits, NYT Mag

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Mister Hotdish"?

"Cheeseburger Pie"?

It's all in the Park Rapids Hockey Players' Cookbook (ca. 1980), at Practice Space.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One more—

Part two of my Astral Weeksian look at recent SF/slipstream stories is up at the L.A. Times. This time around, I look at stories by David Marusek, Yasutaka Tsutsui, and Jeffrey Ford.


Dizzies Press Release: "Jonathan Safran Foer: Literature and Terror"

At Columbia next Tuesday (12/2), DLC* Jenny D moderates a conversation with Jonathan Safran Foer at Columbia's Institute for Religion, Culture, & Public Life.

* * *

Marie M.M. on that LWC books & blogging panel...

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*Dizzies Life Coach

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Wednesday humor

Mr. Vaughn is supposed to be the offspring of Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek, a curious casting choice unless the editors left out a flashback in which the infant Brad fell into a vat of human growth hormone. [...]

The difference in size between [Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon] presents an interesting visual challenge, as they fit into the frame like Gandalf and Frodo, or Marmaduke and a Hummel figurine.

—A.O. Scott, NYT


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've been copy-pasting lately

What if I just stopped blogging and simply copied stuff from Levi's blog?

Doesn't this sound like fun?

I picked up Richard Stark's Ask the Parrot (2006) on my lunch hour the day before Thanksgiving and dove into it as I sat in my office waiting for a call from rocketlass to say that she was ready to leave work. By the time she was free, I was 100 pages in, and as she pulled up in front of my office, I had to break the news that my driving services would be unavailable for the next 188 pages....

And here he is on the latest Hard Case Crime novel, which clearly I need to read (as this is the second time I've linked to this post!):

In addition, Ardai has given his novel another twist: it consists of fifty chapters, named after (and related to) the titles of each of the books in the series. Being familiar with the series, I found myself looking forward to how this Oulipian conceit would force Ardai to figure out ways to finagle his way around such unpromising titles as A Diet of Treacle, Lemons Never Lie, and Grave Descend; I particularly liked his solutions to David Dodge's Plunder of the Sun and the Robert Bloch two-fer Shooting Star/Spiderweb.

* * *

In other news, I finished a review copy of Caitlin Macy's Spoiled, out in the spring, that has some great entries for the Invisible Library...

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A fur piece

Not me.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Life of the white ant

Sentence of the day:

Like Manny Farber's termite, the stoner "leaves nothing in its path other than the signs of eager, industrious, unkempt activity," although unlike the termite the stoner is unlikely to be rediscovered by the French. —Pinakothek

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Simak reverie

Muted but striking book covers—real or imagined?—of SF/SF-ish classics.

(Wow...I haven't thought of Special Deliverance in a long time...I have NO MEMORY OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT BOOK...a robot, a giant cube of some sort? Why did I even read it?*)

(Thanks, Ed.)



Dizzies Press Release: Mercantile Library — Free Use of Writers' Studio

The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction

Announces its Holiday Gift to New York Writers

New York, November 20, 2008 – Intent on finishing that novel before 2008 draws to a close? The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction is pleased to offer free use of our Writers’ Studio to all writers of fiction in the New York metropolitan area through the end of the year. Access to the Studio will be granted on a first-come, first served basis, with priority given to writers with some publication history, though all writers are welcome. Located in a beautiful, quiet, and newly renovated, sky-lit space, The Studio offers wireless internet, lockers, a reference library, lounge and kitchen. For more details on how to obtain access to the Studio, visit


The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction is dedicated to celebrating, supporting and furthering the creation and enjoyment of the art of fiction. The Center serves as a vibrant meeting place where prominent and emerging writers come together with readers in conversation, and where writers can work, exchange ideas and share their gifts. The Center also hosts a wide range of readings, panels, lectures, book groups and writing workshops throughout the year.


Kristin Henley, Tel. 212.755.6710, Email:


Saturday, November 22, 2008


[Kim Jong Il], who is known to be a film buff and connoisseur of Hollywood movies, reportedly finances a three-story building in Pyongyang with a full-time staff of 250 that houses his collection of 20,000 films from all over the world. Regular citizens must settle for homegrown propaganda movies like “Five Guerilla Brothers,” “An Azalea Behind Enemy Lines” and “Wormwood Rice Cake, National Food.” —Malte Herwig, "North Korea's Very Cautious Cinematic Thaw," NYT, 11/21/08

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Swan song

From True magazine, Nov. 1965:

TRUE'S WHO: ARTHUR HERZOG: The Great Society's Happiest Warrior.
HUNTING: ED PARK: Shoot Swans? Why Not!.
SPORTS: RON SMITH: Waiting for Looney.
AUTOMOTIVE: CHARLES N. BARNARD: The Case of the Scrambled Cadillacs.
SCIENCE: MAX GUNTHER: Our Big Robot Reach To Find Life in Space.
NATURE: DANIEL P. MANNIX: Treasure Trove of Backyard Pearls.

HUMOR: JOHNNY CARSON: Happiness Is a Dry Martini.


From Barth to Baldwin

In the NYT Magazine, Dzyd Ross traces TV's recent digressions to the work of postmodern littérateurs. A teaser:

To the television watcher, constant asides are now recognized as a basic component of the contemporary sitcom vocabulary. Verbal digressions — “Remember the time when . . . ” or “What would it be like if . . .” — often lead to alternative scenarios, tangents and realities, each with new characters and sets that can consume long stretches of the show’s running time. Much has been made of how “30 Rock” is revitalizing the classic “Frasier”/“Friends”/“Seinfeld” sitcom, but Fey’s program is, like most of the deeply funny and cutting-edge comedies of the last few years, a bold experiment in narrative.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend ouroboros

Ouroboros on a T-shirt!

(From Scott)


Variations on USA Today (11/20/08, Small World Coffee, Princeton, NJ)


"It's like the character is going into places and signing things," [Twilight star Robert Pattison] says. "They think I am walking straight out of a novel and into a room. They genuinely think I am a character from a book—and I'm not at all."


For nine years her readers have been asking about Midnight, a handsome, fiercely proud Sudanese immigrant who had a supporting role in her first novel.
"Some girls even wanted his phone number," [Sister Souljah] says. "I had to tell them, 'He's fictional.' "

III. Spot these two passages within minutes of each other in someone's abandoned USA Today. Copy them out into your black notebook in your sprawling hand. Realize that if you saw someone doing this, you'd be alarmed, perhaps pick up your things, move a few seats away.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

They're all there

Jon Pareles on Chinese Democracy:

All the labors of Mr. Rose and his various lineups, both inspired and overblown, come through the finished album. Mr. Rose and his co-producer, Caram Costanzo, just keep piling up the sounds. String orchestra? Toy piano plinks? Voices muttering in foreign languages? Harp? Drum machines? Choirs? “I Have a Dream”? They’re all there, along with indefatigable drums and phalanxes of guitars.

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Thursday bloggery

I. This Saturday (11/22): If you're going to the Literary Writers Conference, swing by this panel! "From Blogs to Books and Back," with Luc Sante, Emily Gould, Alexander Chee, and moi, moderated by Marie Mutsuki Mockett. ("...and Back" is nicely optimistic, eh???)

II. From L.G. Thomas:

A) The absurd image of farm animals dancing the tango evokes the clash in Russia between a primarily rural culture and a growing urban life. —The Getty

B) Her striking murals — for the Britain Can Make It exhibition (1947), for the Festival of Britain (1951), for P&O (S.S.Orcades, S.S.Oronsay, S.S.Orsova, S.S.Oriana (1948-1960), and for hotels, restaurants, exhibitions and schools, have all, bar a couple of isolated examples, long since disappeared. Equally as ephemeral were her radio broadcasts — although some may still remember her designs for the Woodentops on children's television. What remains of her work can now only readily be seen (at much smaller scale than the murals) in her books, in her illustrations, her dust-jackets, and other even more fragile and chance survivals. (The present collection, substantial if not wholly complete, preserves the greater part of her published work of this kind). —Ash Rare Books



The Winsor legacy

Lately I've become interested in guidelines—mostly writers helpfully pontificating on how to write. Dzyd Brent sends something a little different, via Vanity Fair: How to create the Thomas Kinkade "look":

6) Hidden details whenever possible, References to my children (from youngest to oldest as follows): Evie, Winsor, Chandler and Merritt. References to my anniversary date, the number 52, the number 82, and the number 5282 (for fun, notice how many times this appears in my major published works). Hidden N's throughout -- preferably thirty N's, commemorating one N for each year since the events happened.


Double trouble — Hole in one

Hockey's Sedin twins:
“Because of their style of play, they are symbiotic and are effectively inseparable,” Gillis said. “As such, we will treat them as a single entity for contractual purposes while recognizing their individual needs and attributes away from the arena.” —NYT

Also: Dwight Garner on new Naipaul bio:
Even the cameos in Mr. French’s biography are crazily vivid. Here is his hole-in-one description of the editor Francis Wyndham: “Popular, gentle, solitary and eccentric, Wyndham lived with his mother, wore heavy glasses and high-waisted trousers, gave off random murmurs and squeaks and moved with an amphibian gait.”

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do Ardai

Levi on Hard Case Crime's 50th book—is this an ouroboros yet?:

The fiftieth book, Fifty-to-One, by founding editor Charles Ardai, starts with the ingenious premise that the occasion is the fiftieth anniversary of Hard Case Crime, and it follows the adventures of the line's founder, Charley Borden, along with a dancing girl from South Dakota newly landed in the big city and the mobsters on whose wrong side--a mile wide, unsurprisingly--they soon find themselves.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

The sting

A Journey Round My Skull has posted book-jacket art by Milton Glaser. It's a treat to see MG's design for Robert Kelly's novel The Scorpions, one of my favorite weird novels. (I've never seen this cover before.)

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Spam and dominos

I. “Spam Turns Serious and Hormel Turns Out More” —NYT

Quote: “The best thing was Spam brownies,” he said, with more or less a straight face.

(From Dzyd Jane)

UPDATE: A Korean Spam-optional recipe.

II. Footage of Dutch world-record breaking domino chain (AP)

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jupiter jones — Lush life — Buffalo architecture

Jonathan Lethem's "Walking the Moons" is up at Joyland, that "hub for short fiction."

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In the NYTBR, Graydon Carter kicks off the front-page review with...Powell!

It can reasonably be said that “A Dance to the Music of Time,” Anthony Powell’s monumental 12-part novel about English manners, society, politics and power, still begs for an American counterpart. Lush and majestic, the book traces the years from 1921 to 1974 — pretty much the period we like to romanticize as “the American century.” But if no novel over here quite tracks Powell’s course, the life of George Ames Plimpton, impressively recorded in this glorious new biography, “George, Being George,” offers a potential substitute. Powell, in his novel, described four types of men: the artist, the romantic, the man of will and the cynic. —NYTBR

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The NYT's Nicolai Ouroussoff has a long look at Buffalo's architectural heritage:
At a time when oil prices and oil dependence are forcing us to rethink the wisdom of suburban and exurban living, Buffalo could eventually offer a blueprint for repairing America’s other shrinking postindustrial cities.

Touring Buffalo’s monuments is about as close as you can get to experiencing firsthand the earliest struggles to define what an American architecture would look like.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Park it!

Dzyd Martin interviews the editor of Parking Today:

TYHIVN: Is there a "parking crisis" in American cities?

JVH: Nope. I have never found a garage that was “full.” It’s a case of “free” parking not being available. I can go on for hours about this.

(Martin, a former valet-parker himself, is a scholar of "valet lit.")

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Built to spill

I. Sneak peek at the cover of the UK paperback edition of Personal Days, coming out next year from Vintage.

Here's a bigger image of a slightly earlier version, same concept:

II. And here are some photos from...Korea! PD finds its way onto the table marked "Bestsellers" and "Movie-Tie-In"(heyyy...I'll take it!) at the Kyobo bookstore:


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Ludicrously poignant Format video for "The First Single":

Mates of State:

(Via Dzyd Euge)

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1. My review of Stanley Crawford's Log of the S.S. The Mrs. Unguentine is in the new Bookforum.

2. And here's an article I've been looking forward to: Dzyd Ben's take on the poets who populate the novels of...[take a guess].....[go on]......[you're RIGHT]:

Roberto Bolaño!

3. I always enjoy the Fantasy & Science Fiction "Curiosities" column:

NOW THAT the prospect of an American woman President in 2009 is impossible, it is worth considering that 120 years ago a utopian novel has that feat occur in 2000. Instead of Bush vs. Gore, a woman of thirty-five, Mrs. Washington-Lawrence, with a teenage daughter but no spouse, occupies the White House....

4. Thanks to those who came out to the Believer event last night—I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

“This marks a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot”

Ending regulations on the size and shape of 26 types of fruit and vegetables, the European authorities killed off restrictions that had become synonymous with bureaucratic meddling.


Table-Talk of Parkus Grammaticus for November 12, 2008

I. Everything and nothing: In Slate, Dzyd Jessica identifies a headline habit at the NYT:
Consider: "Bigger Is Better, Except When It's Not"—a 2007 article looking at body size in sports. "Smaller Can Be Better (Except When It's Not)"—a tech piece from 2004. "A Marriage Penalty, Except When It Isn't"—on couples and the tax code, 2003. This is the Times headline as koan, inviting readers to suspend in-the-box thinking and seek enlightenment below the fold. The style presents thesis and antithesis; it embraces binary thinking yet disavows it; it builds dichotomies and collapses them. There are good uses of this technique, except when there aren't, as a sampling from the last three months attests.

II. New Triple Canopy.

III. The return of Pinakothek—vintage Sante:
"Florence" has reached our couple two decades after its release through the medium of oldies radio--a medium of chattering middle-aged men, audibly overweight, short-sleeved even in the dead of winter, who are capable of putting on the spookiest sides without seeming to notice the weirdness as they jabber on about trivia before and after.
(Thanks to Levi for the nudge)

IV. Speaking of Sante: I'll be on an LWC panel with him and some others on 11/22 (Sat.) at 11:45 a.m. The topic? "From Blogs to Books and Back." Back—to what, blogs??? Then do I get to go back again, to books?

V. Speaking of Levi: More Bolaño material at I've Been Reading Lately. And here he imagines Maud Newton's flight, via Anthony Powell.

VI. last time: Me + Heidi + Alec Baldwin + Will Eno + more = tonight.

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Wednesday Ourobori

I. From a review of 2666: "In 2666, Bolaño has created the literary equivalent of the snake swallowing its own tail. Upon completing the book, you may feel tempted to go back to the beginning and start all over again--a remarkable claim for a work that approaches one thousand pages in length." (Via Levi)

II. Joshua discovers Ouroboric gold. (It's...kind of gross...)

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dizzies Press Release: "An Evening With The Believer," Selected Shorts

Tomorrow (Weds. 11/12) evening at 7, my co-editor Heidi J. and I will be at Symphony Space, introducing great stories by Julia Slavin and Breece D'J Pancake, as well as Will Eno's "interview" from a recent issue. Eno will be on hand to perform, and actors Alec Baldwin (!) and Stephen Lang (who played Happy in the Dustin Hoffman incarnation of Death of a Salesman) will be our readers.

A special discount (from the Blvr. site):

Believer readers can get discounted tickets by using the code SSP253 when ordering tickets online; by phone to the Symphony Space box office at (212) 864-5400; or in person at the theater, located in Manhattan at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Bolaño!

Dzyd Lev reviews 2666 for the Seminary Co-op's The Front Table...

And Sarah points out that Lev Grossman (Dzyd status: unknown) hits on the novel's Friends-y naming convention for Time:

The 898 pages of 2666 are divided into 5 parts, and it will give you some idea of the book's tone, rigorously literary and ridiculously informal at the same time, to know that those parts are titled "The Part about Fate," "The Part about the Crimes," and so on, as if they were Friends episodes. (The flawless translation, by Natasha Wimmer, is appropriately loose and relaxed.) Part 1 is called "The Part about the Critics."

I am not going to read any reviews until I finish the book!

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The One About the Posthumously Translated Masterpiece

Irreverent thought: Titles of sections of Bolaño's 2666 ("The Part About the Critics," "The Part About Fate," etc.) inspired by titles of Friends episodes?


Another candidate for Name of the Year — "Every human name"

"Dr O'Dor":

The research into the evolution of deep-sea octopuses was part of a programme called the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML), explained Don O'Dor, CoML's co-senior scientist...

The species could all be traced back to a shallow-water octopus called Megaleledone setebos, which is only found in the Southern Ocean.

Dr O'Dor added that the BAS researcher's work also enabled her to identify how changes in the region's ocean played a pivotal role in the development of the new species, especially the emergence of a "thermohaline expressway". —BBC

* * *

That great Lethem review of 2666!!! Begins with Philip K. Dick...has some HPL ("the puzzle of their devotion to a writer who declines their interest — declines, in fact, ever to appear — inches like a great Lovecraftian shadow over their lives")...and DFW, and Denis Johnson...and then:

Bolaño has been, because of his bookishness, compared to Jorge Luis Borges. But from the evidence of a prose always immediate, spare, rapturous and drifting, always cosmopolitan and enchanted, the Bolaño boom should be taken as immediate cause for a revival of the neglected master Julio Cortázar. (Cortázar’s name appears in “2666,” but then it may seem that every human name appears there and that Bolaño’s book is reading your mind as you read it.)

UPDATE: Dzyd Ben reviews 2666 for the L.A. Times.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Upcoming events

Light posting for a while—but I thought I'd mention (from the Blvr site):

7 NOV 2008 — On Nov. 12, 2008, the Believer will collaborate with the live performance and public radio series Selected Shorts, featuring Broadway and Hollywood actors reading classic and new short fiction.

This evening will feature readings of stories selected and introduced by editors Ed Park and Heidi Julavits. The evening’s readers will include Alec Baldwin and playwright Will Eno.

Believer readers can get discounted tickets by using the code SSP253 when ordering tickets online; by phone to the Symphony Space box office at (212) 864-5400; or in person at the theater, located in Manhattan at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street.

* * *

And here's a Dizzies Press Release for next Monday—sounds amazing:

The Adventures of Krazy Kat
Monday, November 10, 6:30 p.m.
Theater 3, 4 West 54 Street

This program reconsiders cartoonist George Herriman's iconic comic strip Krazy Kat, which first appeared in William Randolph Hearst's New York Evening Journal in 1913. Poet Monica Youn reads her collection of works about Ignatz Mouse, Krazy Kat's antagonist, and J. Hoberman, senior film critic of The Village Voice, discusses Krazy Kat's impact on the comic strip. Meghan O'Rourke, poet, critic, and co-poetry editor of The Paris Review, moderates a discussion. This program is a collaboration between MoMA and The Paris Review.

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Pryor arrests

This is not an Ouroboros, but should be:

PRYOR, Okla. – A dog waiting in a car while at a car wash slipped the vehicle into gear and drove in a loop before the car came to a stop. Pryor police officer Brent Crittenden said the dog's owner was washing the vehicle when the 70-pound pit bull jumped on the dash and somehow shifted the car into reverse.

(Via Jane)

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Too many writers are dying

1. John Leonard archives at New York magazine and at The New York Review of Books and at Harper's.

2. My thoughts on an evening last year in which he helped Richard Powers perform a piece called "The Moving Finger," and then interviewed him onstage at the Morgan Library.

3. On Maureen Howard (Big as Life) in the NYTBR: "From sex and money as family secrets, to marriage and children as botched experiments, to art and history as magnetic compass points, to writing and teaching as the calisthenics of moral intelligence."

4. The eternal blurb (JL on One Hundred Years of Solitude): "You emerge from this marvelous novel as if from a dream, the mind on fire. . . With a single bound, Gabriel Garcia Marquez leaps onto the stage with Gunter Grass and Vladimir Nabokov. Dazzling." (A blurb that's been as influential as any book to me—"the mind on fire"!)

5. I always loved this 1997 piece, from The Nation, which contains the line: "I review Atlantis books once a decade, whether they need it or not." (Shortly after reading this piece, I began not ignoring Atlantis books that entered my field of I have many and I have finished none.)

6. This doesn't mean anything: When he talked about The Believer on Sunday Morning, years ago, they did a close-up on a page from was my Portis piece. This doesn't mean anything but of course in my mind I pretended it did.

UPDATE: Renata Adler's Speedboat is another touchstone for me...or was I perhaps once again thinking of a JL blurb? Here's his review, plus the rest of his Harper's archive.

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The case of the backward construction

"That was the first time I understood that when there is something wrong in writing, the chances are that there is either too much of it, too little of it, or that it is in some way backwards."
—Michael Crichton, talking about editor Robert Gottlieb

(Via Confessions)

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The plot thickens

Norman Mailer's plot amoebas for Harlot's Ghost, from the Harry Ransom Center's "Mystique of the Archive."

(Via TEV)


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Revisiting "Astral Weeks"

...the Van Morrison album, not the science fiction column!

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Two backward tales:

1. F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," now a David Fincher movie (starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett):

Benjamin, as he says in his voice-over narration, “was born under unusual circumstances” on Nov. 11, 1918, the last day of World War I. As the doctor attending him describes the strange little creature, “He has all the deterioration, the infirmities, not of a newborn, but of a man well in his 80s on the way to his grave.” —NYT

(The FSF original begins around the time of the Civil War.)

2. Frigyes Karinthy's "The Moral," from Soliloquies in the Bath:

Ten years later my hair began to turn black and my teeth gradually returned to my mouth. I was deprived of my pension and had to sit at the office doing my work from the end right to the beginning. My employers were very kind to me, but after twenty-five years they ceased to know me and engaged me on trial at fifteen pounds a month. So there I stood, back to front of course, without money and without a job, but with a wife who grew prettier and loved me more every day.

(Via A Journey Round My Skull)

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Locker room ballots

Across the league, though, many players have eagerly pronounced themselves as supporters of candidates. Last week, Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards endorsed Obama during a conference call with the reporters. —USA Today

(Via Dzys T.M. Rob)


Election day

(Via Dzyd Dennis)


Monday, November 03, 2008

Son of Table-Talk of P.G. for November 3, 2008

I. New Believer is out—the Art Issue! Hooray!

Lawrence Weschler on/with Robert Irwin and David Hockney; Mark Swartz on ; Sheila Heti interviewing Frank Stella; Morgan Meis on the art of the clubhouse; Joshua Cohen on a fake Caravaggio; Michael Marcinkowski on Cavemen (!!!?!?!?!?!?!); epic Hillary Chute interview with Lynda Barry; Jonathan Taylor on the third Twin Tulsa; much, much more!

II. The NYT goes to the Bowery for the return of the Homeless Museum:

He said Albert pointed to a pumpkin that was keeping a stack of letters from blowing away and told him, “Twenty-seven years ago I could have drawn this perfectly.”

(Read all of Samantha Topol's Believer piece on the HoMu, from Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007 issue here.)

III. A Flickr set of spirit photography (via L.G. Thos.)

IV. Dizzies Name of the Year™: Ninth place N.Y. marathon women's finalist Dire Tune.

V. Dizzies Lede of the Day (trademark pending):

It’s like being named the outstanding British soldier of 1776.
The trade publication American Banker unveiled its Banker of the Year award last week: It went to Kenneth D. Lewis, chief of Bank of America.
—Stephanie Clifford, NYT

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Pangrams and emblems

mi'kmaq book of the dead, mIEKAL aND, Poetry


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Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Connections: Numbered Objects Edition

—Joel Holland, illustration for NYT review of Stephen Baker's
The Numerati

—Daniel Spoerri, An Anecdoted Topography of Chance

—Regina Doublemint, The New-York Ghost

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

"Melodious Oyrish vocal hotness"

"Attempting to recite early comic Beckett aloud in an Irish accent (not to anyone, just alone in the apartment, crazy-person like, declaiming to various walls while pacing loops around various rooms), partly for laughs, partly in the name of faithfulness to the originating voice, etc. I do a pretty mean Irish accent, if I may say so myself..." —Erasing


Pynchonesque coverture

So, it’s somewhat unnerving to consider the meaning of The Thin Red Line’s form in light of the persistent rumors that the film in its present form is a monstrous, almost whimsical compromise from the movie Malick had meant to make. In reviews then and since, and in ongoing online dialogue, several possible scenarios have emerged, including the generalized view that Malick, having matured during his hiatus into the most whimsical despot filmmaker this side of Stanley Kubrick, simply decided that a traditional event sequence was no longer desirable, replacing it with a massive weft of fleeting perspectives and incidents.

—Michael Atkinson at Moving Image Source

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Dust never sleeps

Bruce Sterling on Hartmut Bitomsky: Oulipo meets True Grit?

(Via L.M. Thomas.)

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