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Hasta la Madre

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At the New YorkerFrancisco Goldman tackles the malaise shadowing his favorite city in the world:

Mexico City feels different these days. Its usual vibrancy has been muted, and not only because of the missing students of Ayotzinapa. Paéz tells me that when he walked the city streets on the night of September 16th, which is Mexican Independence Day, he was struck by how quiet things were.

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Notable Los Angeles: 10/27–11/2

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Monday 10/27: T. Jefferson Parker presents and signs Full Measure. 7 p.m. at Book Soup.

The Moth presents the Los Angeles Grand Slam Championship! Doors at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. at The Echoplex. $20 presale or $21 at the door.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, Grant Snider’s favorite things, in rhyme.

In The Last Book I Loved, Richard Kramer delves into the “determined and effective” Judith Schneiderman’s memoir, I Sang To Survive. A “propulsive drive” lies behind the Auschwitz survivor’s writing. “What I love most about her book,” Kramer writes, “is the joy with which she tells it, the many moments when her words and insights jump off the page, glowing, specific.”

Lastly, in an animated conversation about story writing and storytelling, “that cool girl” Megan Stielstra opens up about her creative process.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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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?

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Antique Doodles

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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.

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The Marquis de Sade’s Executive MBA

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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.”

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Song of the Day: “Fool”

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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.

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