Posts by: Paolo Yumol
Is the word “roundup” even remotely evocative of “Western” imagery and ethos? I only ask because my immediate thought was to start the roundup with, “We lassoed a big one in today”…and we did. We lassoed in a real winner. Two winners, in fact....more
Christ…brace yourself for an emotionally crippling time with these weekend features. (The pain is worth it! It always is!)
In Saturday’s feature, the tragic end to an interplanetary love story shivers with loss—one of Yumi Sakugawa’s best comics yet.
Sunday’s essay is structured around an experimental narrative in which Jennifer Pastiloff explores themes of possession across various experiences: the generosity of a vagrant stranger, an imagined romance with a fellow actor, a harrowing car accident that results in miracle....more
Giddy-up, you hateful stallion! It’s time for another Weekend Rumpus Roundup.
In the Saturday interview, Kiese Laymon takes some time with the Rumpus to discuss his latest book, Long Division, and explores in greater length the literary influences that have contributed to the development of his own Afrofuturist style....more
In 2005, David Foster Wallace delivered his famous commencement speech to Kenyon’s graduating class, which was notorious for invoking the story about two young fish unable to recognize they are swimming in water.
The speech was met with such widespread admiration and awe that it was published as This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life by Little, Brown & Company in 2009....more
It’s easy to assign porn names—which are often wildly flamboyant and unapologetically cheesy—to fictional identities, people who don’t exist off the screen.
But at Buzzfeed, porn star and Rumpus contributor Conner Habib (né Andre Khalil) writes about how living in the age of the internet is making it more difficult for porn stars to successfully compartmentalize their private and public lives....more
If you remember feeling oppressed by summer reading assignments—or skipping it altogether, opting to half-ass it and watch the movie adaptations instead—you aren’t alone.
At The Millions, Carolyn Ross argues that these assignments are “killing a love of reading” for students everywhere....more
Hungry for some good times? Feast on this weekend Rump!
In Saturday’s interview, Matthew Specktor takes some time to talk with the Rumpus about his latest novel, American Dream Machine. He comments on the “dude-heaviness” of the book and voices concern about the increasing corporatization of the film and publishing industries....more
Legendary science fiction author and screenwriter Richard Matheson, who unfortunately passed away a little over a month ago, has had his work adapted into a plethora of movies—I Am Legend, The Box, The Shrinking Man, What Dreams Will Come, etc.—which, unfortunately, haven’t all fared so well....more
Kenneth Goldsmith, who was recently appointed MoMA’s “poet laureate,” shares over at The Awl a manifesto of sorts advocating for “smart dumb,” which he claims is an alternative to “both smart smart and dumb dumb, choosing instead to walk a tightrope between the two.”
Known for composing poems out of re-appropriated transcriptions of news articles, weather reports, and sports broadcasts, Goldsmith argues that “smart dumb” is achieved by transcending “smart” and being unafraid to access the obvious and mundane....more
In an essay written for Pacific Standard, psychologist Adam Waytz meditates on the dramatic influence the Internet has had on the role of cultural criticism.
Arguing that the Internet (with its “leaking” and torrenting and general filesharing debauchery) has effectively dissolved the advantage critics previously had over the public—the ability to access the subjects of their criticism before their public release—Waytz theorizes that most critics have become merely “mirrors of public opinion.”
Have modern cultural critics lost the ability to, as Waytz puts it, “guide taste”?...more
Look. It was a nasty weekend. We both said some things we didn’t mean. Let’s just put it behind us with the weekend Rumpus roundup (though that was still a pretty perverted thing you did).
Who knew that, upon finding a tear in the fabric of time, you don’t find fear or excitement at all but only that familiar longing?...more
Even from that very first statement, Rumpus contributor Amy Butcher‘s personal essay “Probably It’s Nothing Fancy” establishes an all-too familiar tension between two friends who are beginning to imagine themselves as involved in something more.
Through prose that is both smart and sparse, Butcher deftly navigates feelings of forlornness and empty denial....more
Not only were there readings by eight different authors—including special readings by Alice LaPlante and Brandon Brown—but comic Janine Brito and electro-pop band Le Fomo also performed sets....more
Read Rumpus columnist Rick Moody‘s interview with songwriter-visionary Mark Mulcahy (formerly of the legendary ’80s–’90s college rock band Miracle Legion) about Mulcahy’s latest album “Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You” over at Salon.
Here Mulcahy discusses the writing and recording process, the album’s thematic darkness—something he attributes to what he describes as “a bleak view of people”—and (unfortunately) the reasons why we shouldn’t expect a new Miracle Legion record anytime soon....more
Guillermo del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth and the upcoming movie Pacific Rim) has recently announced that he has selected Charlie Kaufman as the writer of the screenplay for del Toro’s film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.
Kaufman, famous for writing the screenplays behind such mind-bending and unsettlingly funny works as Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, was described by del Toro as “perfect” and “very expensive.” Great choice, sir....more
In an essay for The Guardian, David Mitchell (author of the novels Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green, among others) provides a moving and honest account of the experience of raising a son with autism.
While the diagnosis came as a shock—and gave way to more difficulties and struggles than he’d imagined—Mitchell writes that he has learned to recognize “its own singular beauty, its own life-enriching experiences.”...more
It explained that the growing popularity of book series like The Hunger Games among teenagers is an indirect cause of this, forcing classics that formerly dominated high school summer reading lists—”Sophocles, Shakespeare, Dickens, George Bernard Shaw, Emily Bronte and Edith Wharton”—out of academic consciousness....more
The topic of essayism—one especially relevant to the Rumpus—is granted the meticulous attention it deserves in this opinion piece Christy Wampole wrote for the New York Times.
Wampole artfully weaves the essay’s deep history through a narrative about the development of a “meditative deficiency” in modren essay-writing....more
As Twitter continues to be met with the warm (and arguably unlikely) embrace of writers like Joyce Carol Oates and Jennifer Egan (read the story she wrote for last year’s fiction issue of The New Yorker in its original serialized tweet form here), it’s becoming more and more urgent to discuss its merit as a literary medium....more
Lovers of progressive rock legends like King Crimson, Genesis, or Emerson, Lake and Palmer should check out Yes is the Answer: And Other Prog Tales, a literary anthology edited by Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell and featuring work by musicians and novelists alike; Rick Moody, Seth Greenland, Joe Meno, Matthew Sweet, and many others contribute pieces....more
Mellow Pages Library, a library and reading room in Brooklyn consisting primarily of publications from small publishing houses, opened its doors earlier this year.
Founded by Matt Nelson and Jacob Perkins, the library prides itself in supporting lesser-known authors and publishing houses, containing publications from Magic Helicopter Press, Factory Hollow Press, Jaded Ibis Press, and Ugly Duckling Presse, among others....more
In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Jonathan Safran Foer (award-winning author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) contemplates the implications of living in a society full of “iDistractions,” arguing that the increased daily use of new technology might be limiting our capacity for empathy and compassion....more
Yesterday, alt-lit author and experienced hamster artist Tao Lin published the last installment of a series of iPhone photos he’d taken for Vice during a recent trip to Taipei.
The final selection is entitled “Taipei metro” and includes melancholy, voyeuristic photos of various metro locations throughout Taipei....more
Ralf Hütter of the German band Kraftwerk (famous for pioneering of krautrock and drone) confirmed in an interview with The Guardian that the band is indeed continuing work on their twelfth studio album, exclaiming that with the band, “it’s music non stop!” The album is to be Kraftwerk’s first release in over a decade....more