We will always fail each other. That goes without saying. The question is, what happens next? If failing is then countered with the question, “What’s wrong with you?”, then that’s a problem.
Posts Tagged: the believer
In today’s New York Times Book Review, there’s a great essay by Cheryl Strayed responding to the prompt “Is This a Golden Age for Woman Essayists?” She rightly tears the question to shreds. And yet, I’ll admit it. I tend to gravitate towards writers who are women, both in terms of what I read and who I befriend....more
When it comes to comedy, Ted Alexandro champions thoughtfulness:
Comedians are thinkers. The best ones are akin to philosophers, in my opinion. Not that that’s the goal, but sometimes these funny insights can also be deeply profound. I think the more you hone your voice, take risks and talk about things that matter, the better chance you have of getting into the realm of the philosophers of stand up.
The Believer has just published what is likely writer Peter Matthiessen’s last interview, conducted only a month before his death. Included: Jaws, the sticker that Kurt Vonnegut left on Matthiessen’s car, and why Matthiessen didn’t like to write about New York:
I also very rarely write about cities or urban people—especially urban people of our own region.
Mike Mills—the director of Beginners, Thumbsucker, and any number of fluorescent music videos—speaks to The Believer about his upcoming film. On their monthly podcast, The Organist, Mills discusses A Month Forever Voyaging through Strange Seas of Thought, what it felt like to direct youths so entirely enmeshed with technology, and the politics of being an Apple engineer’s daughter....more
If you live in the Bay Area, you owe it to yourself to make it out to this release party for Ashley Farmer’s book Beside Myself, out from our essays editor Roxane Gay‘s own Tiny Hardcore Press.
THP—and its associated litmag, PANK—are celebrating the new title at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco, where they’ll be joined by our friends at the Believer. Readers will include Daniel Levin Becker, Rumpus contributors Ethel Rohan and Sarah Marshall, and Rumpus pal Matthew Zapruder....more
Mary Miller talks about her first novel, The Last Days of California, the musicality and rhythm of sentences, how to avoid authorial intrusion, and when it’s better to back away from the revision process....more
Before this government, usually you would find people in the buses with their books and with their newspapers, now you can’t see that. When I read in the bus now, I become like an alien. People start looking at you…‘He’s reading. What is he reading?’
For the Believer‘s blog, Nafeesa Syeed interviews Mamoun Eltlib, a young Sudanese writer struggling to uplift his country’s culture, despite various forms of government repression....more
This month in The Believer, Sarah Marshall takes a look back at figure skating in the 90’s. Particularly the stifled rivalry between US ice princesses Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. Marshall’s perspective is not unique but it’s beautifully thorough. She examines the figure skating business like a true heart-broken fan – yearning for Kerrigan’s lost reparations yet also grieving a sport that has thrown away its potential to empower its skaters both socially and politically....more
For the Believer, Lane Koivu interviews our fearless leader Stephen Elliott about, among other things, “the thrill of finding himself in the director’s chair, the time he nearly got locked up by a psychiatrist in San Francisco, and why he’s always in a race against his own enthusiasm.”
Here’s a little morsel of their wide-ranging and compelling conversation:
It’s not like I let everybody on set rewrite the script.
“To turn his back on Hollywood, to walk away from the spotlight because it was turning him into a man he didn’t want to be—a man without dignity—was a move that was, in a way, Chappelle’s birthright, his own unwieldy kind of Negritude.”
Featured in this month’s Believer is Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s essay on the 10-year anniversary of Dave Chappelle’s departure from his self-titled show....more
Long-running, writer-driven shows have overtaken American cinema as the most prestigious strand of American visual culture, revealing most of even the supposedly best American movies as risk-averse, unimaginative, and hopelessly bound by their time constraints.
Todd Hasak-Lowy argues on the Believer‘s blog that despite TV’s bad rep among literary types, there is Good TV that reaches the level of Literature (caps his)....more
Maurice Sendak, author of dearly loved children’s books like Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, would have turned 85 today....more
If you’re not already listening to the Believer’s new podcast, the Organist, don’t worry—there’s still time to catch up!
The third episode, posted earlier this month, swings from hillbilly records to classic horror movies, hitting everything in between.
It’s worth a listen for the weird-ass Jack White/Conan O’Brien interview alone....more
In honor of National Poetry Month, please check out poet Ali Liebegott’s wonderfully conducted interview with the eminent Dorianne Laux, where Laux sheds light on Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay for helping her hone her poetic craft.
If I hadn’t been able to talk with myself, with respect, as a whole human being, who had a mind and heart and desires, a goodness, a desire to be good—you know, all of those things, I think, are the original impulse when we sit down and write. I’m not the only person in the world who is suffering.
Ever since Michel de Montaigne, the founder of the modern essay, gave as a motto his befuddled “What do I know?” and put forth a vision of humanity as mentally wavering and inconstant, the essay has become a meadow inviting contradiction, paradox, irresolution, and self-doubt.