In September, we mentioned Dan Piepenbring’s essay on the artfulness of the Paris Review’s junk mail. Head to 3:AM Magazine for some more randomly-generated poetry, Michael Naghten Shanks’s Selected Spam Haikus, like this one:
pull wealth out of your
deep brown beans when they invite
Nothing much more needs to be said: At the Atlantic, “the author of White Noise reviews Taylor Swift’s white noise.”...more
Remember Elizabeth Strout’s 2008 Pulitzer-prize winning novel in stories Olive Kitteridge? What if Olive could come to life in a film adaptation? Man. In a perfect world, probably Frances McDormand would play Olive, right? In fact, maybe we could just give McDormand creative control of the whole project, yeah?...more
On the same night that Mary Shelley released Frankenstein’s monster, John Polidori, Lord Byron’s personal physician, wrote “The Vampyre,” the first fully realized English vampire story. The Public Domain Review takes a look at how Byron served as the model for the first known aristocratic bloodsucker....more
I’ve always been writing about the same thing: that truth and stories are inextricably linked, that stories are truer than fact because they are fact organized into meaning. If we don’t tell our stories, if we don’t remember, and if we don’t leave stories, then our world becomes sick and we become sick.
The owner of another fabulous volume, the Book of St Albans – a gentleman’s guide to heraldry, hawking and hunting that, in the 1480s, was the first colour printed book in English – did worse and with much less shame: he added a little drawing to the bottom of a page showing an enthusiastic couple having sex.
Yes. It’s impossible to achieve things like justice if you don’t have enough compassionate imagination for any other human being to understand that they deserve justice. That shorthand justice is not the thing at all. You know, what can I say, I mean, my deepest, I think, religious belief is that we are amongst souls and we have souls.
For The Baffler, Kurt Newman analyzes Tom DeMarco’s 1997 novel, The Deadline: A Novel of Project Management, comparing the work to that of the Marquis de Sade and explaining why a seemingly irrelevant book highlights “our economic order’s sadomasochistic core.” The Deadline differs from other sadomasochistic fiction (American Psycho, Fight Club, and 24) in that it is distinguishable for “its illumination of the role of sadist and masochistic fantasies—not in the psychopathologies of day traders, not in the hollow rituals of postmodern consumption and therapy, and not in the torture chambers of late-capitalist militarism—but in the world of industrial relations.”...more
YA author Kathleen Hale became obsessed over a negative Goodreads review of her first novel, to the point of finding the reviewer’s address and deciding to stalk her in real life. She wrote about the experience on the Guardian last week, and now BuzzFeed Books has collected the reactions to Hale’s story....more
Sara Benincasa has some inspiring words over at Medium:
You must tell people exactly what you want from them if you have any hope that they will give it to you. I asked people to review my book (well, my publisher asked them to review my book) in the hopes that everyone would love it and write glowing reviews.
Perfume Genius is the stage moniker of Seattle-based artist Mike Hadreas, whose buzz-worthy new album reeks of deliberate, inspired songwriting and technical ability. Hadreas showcases his impressive vocal range on this beautiful track from the record, Too Bright, titled “Fool.” The deceptively flippant lyrics mask a melodic complexity that rewards us more and more with each subsequent listen....more
At The Millions, Brooke Hauser compares Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl with Helen Gurley Brown’s seminal Sex and the Single Girl and finds, distressingly, that not much has changed when it comes to the critical reception of women writing about sex:
A lot has happened since 1962 when Sex and the Single Girl came out.
There was a time when people were pretty sure birds migrated to the moon.
Important news: some people don’t use the internet late at night.
(It is almost Halloween) how to sell a haunted house....more
Librarians have hard-won reputations as defenders of open information and patron privacy, but what about third-party providers of library services? Slate’s Future Tense explores some recent revelations from companies like Adobe, whose Digital Editions e-book software has been criticized for transmitting reader data in plain text—making it an easy target for surveillance by the government, and other private companies....more
For NPR Books, Craig Morgan Teicher finds a fantastic reimagining of the black, Southern, gay experience in his review of Jericho Brown’s The New Testament. Drawing from the gospels, as well as the poet’s own rich landscape of rhythm and American mythology, Brown’s new collection attempts to articulate some kind of hope for a community in which tragedies like the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager are, sadly, not without precedent....more
(adj.); dangerous or full of peril; from the latin periculum (“an attempt, risk”)
I’m normal. I live in a nice apartment. I think one thing [guys like Burroughs] didn’t have that I have is the Internet. The Internet is the biggest conduit of psychic violence since television.
The arts don’t pay very well, and working as a professional in a creative field like writing, music, or film has grown more precarious. High student debt doesn’t help, but it might explain why almost a quarter of arts graduates end up in business management....more
Tom Hanks (yeah, that one), lands his short fiction debut over at the New Yorker:
I’ve been around great storytellers all my life and, like an enthusiastic student, I want to tell some of my own. And I read so much nonfiction that the details stack up in my head and need a rearranging sometimes.