My doctor told me to begin with adding five minutes to my morning walk. During those five minutes, I recalled the life I’d once had—that intense life that ambition gave me—and the man I’d once been....more
We looked up as we moved. A handful of stars watched us behind a ripped black canvas of clouds. It started to rain as we all got to our cars. The skies poured down globs of heavy rain that burst out like tiny bombs around us....more
Everyone knows funk music reached its heyday in the 1970s, but even legends like James Brown and George Clinton were hard pressed to compete with funk powerhouse The Isley Brothers in 1975. The title track “The Heat Is On (Part 1 & 2),” from their record of the same name, is a hard-driving, wall-shaking revelation that takes this oft-underestimated genre to new heights. The influences of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, Stevie Wonder’s synthesizer, and James Brown’s rhythm make this funk anthem sizzle
I wanted to speak directly, to say exactly what I meant, to make statements with sharp edges, to try and pin things down.
For Catapult, David Szalay chronicles the unorthodox origins of his latest novel: from writer’s block and experimenting with “strict forms” like the sonnet and the sestina came All That Man Is. Later, Szalay was keen enough to see that the poems had been, in a sense, writing the novel of their own accord.
Without editor Robert Gottlieb, contemporary classics such as True Grit and Catch-22 might not exist in the forms we know them—but that doesn’t seem to move him. In a rare interview for the Guardian, Michelle Dean visited Gottlieb at his New York home to talk about his long list of achievements, which he demurely brushes off; his forthcoming memoir; and why editors should lay low and let authors have the spotlight.
Sixteen feminist poetry collections, old and new, showcased at Bustle, prove just how rich, diverse, and actionable poetry can be. Author C. CE Miller says, “As feminist icons like Elizabeth Warren and the notorious RBG have recently taught us (thanks, Twitter), there’s nothing like a good one-liner to really rile up the patriarchy.” Highlights include The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks, Morgan Parker’s There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, The Distance of a Shout, by Kishwar Neheed, and Yin, by Carolyn Kizer.
While Fitzgerald’s haunts have certainly evolved over the years, and some have disappeared altogether, visitors to Paris can still relive the old-fashioned glamor of Fitzgerald’s Paris. It requires imagination, champagne, and a touch of despair.
Considering how prolific James Patterson and his team of writers are, it’s no surprise that he turned to “fan fiction” with a novel called The Murder of Stephen King. Unfortunately for those curious about the book, Patterson has cancelled its release, according Jackson Frons, writing at Electric Literature. Apparently, fans have been showing up uninvited at King’s house, which may be a reason for the cancellation. Patterson also cited concern over King and his family.
The Caretaker’s Leyland Kirby will be chronicling through music the changes wrought by dementia on his own newly diagnosed mind. Kirby released a statement outlining the project:
The series aims to enlighten our understanding of dementia by breaking it down into a series of stages that provide a haunting guide to its progression, deterioration, and disintegration and the way that people experience it according to a range of impending factors.
It’s an ambitious, frightening, and generous project in six volumes, to be released through March of 2019. The first volume, Everywhere at the End of Time, is available now. Listen to the album’s first track, “It’s Just a Burning Memory,” after the jump. (more…)
For NPR, Annalisa Quinn reviews Eimear McBride’s new novel, The Lesser Bohemians. “For McBride’s characters … love encroaches into and alters the inner self,” Quinn writes. “The Lesser Bohemians is a love story, yes, but it is really an electric and beautiful account of how the walls of self shift and buckle and are rebuilt.”
At Catapult, Rachel Vorona Cote takes readers down a path of struggle that far too many writers walk, but aren’t always able to talk about or understand. In “Black Books and Letting the Ink Dry,” Vorona Cote looks at the “paradox of the blank book”:
The paradox of the blank book is this: It invites our most intimate scribbles while its creamy, pristine pages cast doubt upon the merit of our words. What ideas burn so brightly that they should besmirch generous, bare pages? Yes, blank books promise—but they also protest.
Wednesday 9/28: Fans of “”Shipwrecked,” Booksmith’s notorious performance series in which notable authors compete for bragging rights by writing shocking fan fiction based on well-respected works, will be pleased to learn that an anthology is being released: Loose Lips. The book party will include an edition of “Shipwrecked” featuring The Princess Bride. Inconceivable. $12–$30, 7 p.m., Public Works.
In a primal sense, racism involves favoring the people who are closest to you genetically. It is funny how most liberal left-wingers (well, me, at least) would never think of not hiring someone because he was of a different race or religion, but, at the same time, would try to get their child a bigger slice of birthday cake than the other kids or would lobby for extra attention from a teacher or a coach.
Over at TheMillions, Hannah Gersen interviews Lauren Collins about her memoir, When in French; learning a foreign language; and writing about herself. As Collins recalls:
I wanted to describe the terrain of French, the kind of landscape and its physical features and its hills and valleys. I was thinking of it that way. To me, it feels like an older place, it feels like a colder place, often, but at the same time there are these nooks and crannies and hidden alleyways and therefore vistas that have been opened. I imagine French as being in the streets of a medieval city.
As time went on I felt more like a party trick and a robot. At the end of the workday, I wasn’t able to clear my mind of demeaning language and abusive situations from the stories, and when I slept I had fitful dreams, mostly about my mom dying and horny men turning into wolves and women with bruises.
It is a confusing life to live, and one that is worth paying attention to as mainstream media maintains its genre-wide ignorance and disapproval of the form.
While it sounds pretty weird, this was standard practice back in the day. According to Patrick Miller in his article “Music and the Silent Film,” Hollywood director D.W. Griffith enlisted a brass band to encourage extras during the battle sequences of his 1916 three-and-a-half-hour epic, Intolerance. Fellow director King Vidor often relied on opera recordings to get his actors in the right headspace.