It might be my own childhood stammer–which, since these things never fully go away, creeps into my mid-adulthood–but I’ve always believed there is a deeply ingrained connection between writing and stammering. Not every stammerer grows up to become a writer, but certainly there has to be a link between the agonizing isolation of the stutterer
The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has been on a spending spree for years, purchasing the papers of literary titans like James Agee, Norman Mailer, and Don DeLillo (among innumerable others).
Now, they’ve added David Foster Wallace’s sprawling scribblings to their collection, much of it available online. Highlights include a handwritten
Mark Linkous took his own life yesterday. I interviewed Mark in 2001, right before It’s A Wonderful Life came out. Stupid me, I couldn’t get the recorder to work, which seems peculiarly appropriate. What I remember is here.
The great lit Web site The Rumpus has an intriguing piece about the late, great Barry Hannah. Apparently he was a bit of a WWII buff and gave a lecture at Bennington entitled “Military History as Regards Fiction: The Unquenchable Thirst about World War II.” Man, what I would’ve given to have been there.
Brooklyn writer A.N.
Quite possibly the most brazenly insubordinate and thought-provoking book I have read since Walter Benjamin‘s landmark essay “The Work of Art In the Age Of Mechanical Reproduction” is David Shields’s highly hyped “manifesto,” Reality Hunger. (Inverted sentence structure intended, BTW.)
I don’t know if I am yet prepared to follow Shields into the novels-are-not-really-novels wilderness, but
I don’t remember where I was. The library stacks, where a rose-cheeked high-school junior I had a crush on hung out? The alley behind La Petite, where my delinquent friends smoked bowls during lunch hour? A bookstore on the South Side? Or, actually, no, now I remember: I was in college, shamefully belated in my
Not the “best,” necessarily, but these are the novels, I think, which will cast the longest shadows to the writers of the future.
Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Tie: Ian McEwan, Atonement; Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex
James Frey, A Million Little Pieces (now that we know it’s a novel)
Wouldn’t this be a cool class?
The phenomenally talented and innovative Susan Michod, who happens to be my mom, is part of an online show over at the esteemed Chicago-based Koscielak Gallery.
Her new work, which in my opinion ranks among the best of her long and thoughtful career, are vivid and vigorous “mash-ups,” so to speak, of familiar images from the
Don DeLillo, Point Omega
Sam Lipsyte, The Ask
Lydia Davis, The Collected Short Stories
Joshua Ferris, The Unnamed