Our resident cartoonist extraordinaire Yumi Sakugawa has some very exciting stuff coming up....more
Who says librarians can’t also be the leaders of organized crime rings?
The very man charged with protecting these treasures, Marino Massimo De Caro, a politically connected former director of the library, is accused of being at the center of a network of middlemen, book dealers and possibly crooked conservators — all part of what prosecutors say is a sometimes corrupt market for rare books…
The New York Times has more, including the best final paragraph you’ll read all week....more
If, while posting selfies to Twitter and reblogging Pacific Rim GIFs on Tumblr, you ever feel a pang of nostalgia for the Wilder Westier days of the Internet, here’s a story for you:
In January of 2012, a mysterious series of advanced cryptological puzzles with a creepy cicada theme led hackers and codebreakers on a chase deep into the darker parts of the web....more
Check out Joseph Entin’s even-handed review of James Franco’s movie adaptation of “As I Lay Dying” at LARB.
Franco has tackled the über-challenging multi-perspective modernist piece where others demurred, and has come away with something worthy of examination, particularly by those already familiar with the original literary work....more
Monday 12/2: The Bazaar Writers Salon, hosted by Peter Kline, features readings by Christopher Kempf, Scott Laughlin, and Bruce Snider and music by Bob Hillman. Free, 7 p.m. at Bazaar Cafe.
Tuesday 12/3: Dodie Bellamy comes to City Lights to read from Cunt Norton, the sequel to Cunt Ups....more
Hope your Thanksgiving was bountiful and your travel experience wasn’t too terrible! Here’s what we had going on on the Rumpus this weekend.
Lydia Kiesling’s review of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch has stirred up a little controversy, but it’s thoughtful and engaged, we promise:
Donna Tartt is catnip for educated people who want to read entertaining but not difficult things about lofty topics and cosmopolitan people.
We didn’t know there was one until Slate‘s Matthew Malady pointed out the limitations of English punctuation.
Look, I’m the last one to encourage the excessive use of exclamation points. But if we are going to use them—and they do come in handy from time to time—we should at least do so in a way that makes good sense.
Saturday 11/30: Indies First is a nationwide celebration of independent bookstores launched by author Sherman Alexie to support small businesses. Independent bookstores around New York City invited some of their favorite authors for appearances:...more
John Steinbeck will be remembered as many things – as the author of Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and many other canonical works of American literature, of course. To his son Thom, however, he was a sagacious authority on love, as evinced by this 1958 note taken from a collection of Steinbeck’s letters....more
Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful Rumpus readers! We all know today is the crazy day known as Black Friday but did you know that tomorrow is Support Small Business Saturday?
Over in the Rumpus store we have some amazing gifts that you can give the creative person in your life....more
Over at WNPR this week Maureen Corrigan offers up a “Literary Escape Plan” from holiday stress.
The Borsch Belt-style Pilgrim jokes and mishmash recipes (turkey brined in Manischewitz, anyone?) are flying around the Internet; but since Jews are frequently referred to as “the People of the Book” and Pilgrims pretty much lived by the Book, Thanksgivukkah seems to me like the quintessential (stressful) family holiday to celebrate by escaping into a book.
It’s often said “The Sixties” officially began with the death of JFK and America’s “loss of innocence.” But without the dedicated and well-documented cosmic explorations of Aldous Huxley and his cohorts, the decade would have looked very different.
Steffie Nelson retraces the notable life and work of the Aldous Huxley after he moved to California in a brilliant essay over at the Los Angeles Review of Books....more
Ever wondered about the sexual orientation of classic novels protagonist?
Without much effort, several many of the main characters in Fitzgerald’s masterpiece can be read as gay: the flamboyantly fabulous party-throwing, clotheshorse Gatsby, with his closets full of pink suits; the unemotional, athletic, androgynous Jordan,
Ester Bloom did, and took some of them – including Moby Dick‘s Ishmael and The Great Gatsby‘s Nick Carraway – out of the closet on the Hairpin....more
Our own Rumblr editor, Molly McArdle, has a piece up in the Los Angeles Review of Books celebrating the twenty-five year run of “Poirot,” a British television series based on stories by Agatha Christie.
In her piece, she examines the nuanced titular protagonist of “Poirot,” as well as the beloved show’s cultural and literary significance....more
Over at The Millions, several esteemed editors discuss their journals’ rejection policies. Magazines represented include The Paris Review, Hobart, The Rattling Wall, The Harvard Review, and others. It is wonderfully humbling as a writer to be reminded how difficult the task of rejecting good work can be....more
After finding a paperback novel strewn on an airport bench with the note: “To whomever finds this book—please read it, take it somewhere, and leave it for someone else to find it” written inside, J.J. Abrams became fascinated with the “romantic idea that you could leave a book with a message for someone.”
Abrams partnered with Doug Dorst to produce “S,” a novel that includes the notes of two readers in the margins, as well as postcards, photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, and a map written on a napkin from a coffee shop....more
The Voice of Witness project, founded by McSweeney’s Dave Eggers, is a nonprofit that records the narratives of those who have survived harrowing experiences. The project was started after Dave came back from the Sudan, where he witnessed people trying to rebuild their lives after the civil war....more
Some reviewers still draw a divide between the rules that apply to male comedians and their female counterparts, as seen in in Brian Lowry’s piece which criticizes Sarah Silverman for being “as dirty as the guys.”
Ann Friedman of The Hairpin created a pie chart to draw attention to comedy’s troubled relation with gender....more
So: a train races beneath the city, having been made into a vehicle of war, covered with signatures and symbols, it goes crosstown, downtown, taking with it the story of dystopia and crack cocaine, “armamentation,” and innovation as it travels. This is what myths do: they tell us how things came to be.