Posts by: Michelle Dean

Vonnegut’s Marriage Contract

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In his first marriage, Vonnegut was reduced to making out a contract with his wife to get all the relevant chores done. Those of you who are co-habiting or planning to do so in the forseeable future may find this clause particularly helpful:

It is understood that, should I find these commitments in any way unreasonable or too binding upon my freedom, I will take steps to amend them by counterproposals, constitutionally presented and politely discussed, instead of unlawfully terminating my obligations with a simple burst of obscenity, or something like that, and the subsequent persistent neglect of said obligations;

“Something like that.”

Feel free to amend the original at will, of course, should you choose to undertake this agreement.

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A Pussy Riot Roundup

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I’d write you something about Pussy Riot, but I am, personally, totally exhausted by the avalanche of commentary which does not appear to consider the particular political and religious context in Russia, and I would be incapable of doing anything myself but adding to that.

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About David Rakoff

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I did not know David Rakoff, never so much as met him, and I did not know that he was in these last few weeks quite as sick as he clearly was, but for weeks before his death I’d been sending out an essay of his to friends.

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A Brief Saturday Rumpus History Lesson on Envy

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I can’t stay here long today as some other pressing obligations call. But there’s been a higher than average amount of chatter about writerly jealousy this week. I assure you if you think I’m being vague to cover for that one thing you read, I’m not; I saw at least three unrelated items go by.

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It’s Bloomsday

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James Joyce’s most famous works were long, complicated and, depending on who you’re asking, arguably inaccessible novels. But writing to his four-year-old grandson Stephen (yes, that Stephen) in August 1936 he set himself out a simpler task: write a story a kid could enjoy, as “Stevie” was then just four.

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Saturday History Lesson: Dorothy Parker’s Ashes

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Dorothy Parker died, rather suddenly, of a heart attack in June of 1967. She was seventy-three but had not seemed particularly sick to her friends, who still found her an avid enthusiast of whisky and cigarettes.A chambermaid found her in her room at the Volney hotel on East 74th Street.

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