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 vision...now 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 inside....it 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.