If you can read a couple of sentences such as "The success of viral geniuses like Zimmerman shouldn't be dispiriting to more traditional outlets, though. Rather, it's evidence that social media is something that actually can be figured out — and, given the traffic at play, there's a tremendous reward for those who figure it out" without needing to take several deep breaths and a walk around the block in an effort to restrain [...]
Is there anyone who doesn't love Calvin and Hobbes? I don't want to know if there is, so just smile at me and softly say, "Of course not." Thanks. Anyway, here are excerpts from a forthcoming interview with Bill Watterson.
Something about Melissa Leo rubs me the wrong way, and unlike those times you pretend you don't know why or can't quite put your finger on it or whatever I will say exactly what the something is that is responsible for the wrong-rubbing: her "self-commissioned For Your Consideration ad campaign [for the 2011 Best Supporting Actress Oscar]." Remember that, when she paid for her own ads asking people to vote for her for an Oscar? This profile of Leo by Doree Shafrir posits that my discomfort was in part inspired by the fact that "Leo had so brazenly deviated from [...]
Okay fine, Day, if this is the way you're going to be then I am gonna treat myself to this piece on farmer's daughters, and there's nothing you can do about it. I mean, now that I think about it there's a lot you can actually do, but I kind of hope you won't. I have so little already, you can't let me just read the farmer's daughters thing? I really don't think it's that much to ask.
Oh, look, it's a poem from The Poetry Section editor Mark Bibbins, and it's a little saucy.
Upton Tea's Winter 2013 newsletter contains the latest installment of Reversals of Fortune in the Tea Industry and it is a doozy. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but the title is "Part XXX: Trademark Woes," and they do not stint on A&P's innovation in store brand products. While you're there, you should order yourself some of their excellent [...]
Here are a couple of reviews of Donald Fagen's Eminent Hipsters. Here is my review of Donald Fagen's Eminent Hipsters: If you are a dyspeptic Jew from the American northeast who enjoys the music of Steely Dan and spends a lot of time grumbling about how things are less authentic, more anesthetizing and increasingly unpleasant these days OR you are someone with a deep interest in the intricate details of what it is like to travel the country on a mid-level musician's tour bus you will find a lot to enjoy about this book. For a man who has spent the last 40 years in [...]
Awl pal Anna Holmes picks the five ladybooks everyone should read if they want to be Awl pal Anna Holmes. These are also very solid choices for anyone with less lofty aspirations.
—Alice Munro, "Royal Beatings," March 14, 1977, The New Yorker. At 82, she is the 13th woman winner of 106 Nobel prizes in literature.
But yes yay and all that but ALSO CAN WE POINT OUT that the Nobel Prize site is insane? FOR INSTANCE:
Nobody's going to win a Nobel Prize for website copywriting on this one. There's a lot of "tell us in the comments about your feels!" (yes: "Have your say and tell us what you think about the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature!") and also a MOST POPULAR LAUREATES LIST??? Maybe it's just foreign, let's live with that. (But c'mon: "How Do [...]
Totally tardy to this one but if your to-be-read pile of magazines is anything like mine you'll have missed this incredible piece by Darryl Pinckney in the Fall Threepenny Review too, so this would be a good time for you to, uh, take a pause for a Pinckney break, or whatever formulation I need to use to get you to read it.
Once you get over the fact that some 32-year-old is a MacArthur Genius and you're not (yes, yes, except for you, Tarell McCraney), why don't you go back and read this interview with newly-designated Genius Karen Russell. Maybe there are some secrets in there about how you can turn your brilliance into a pile of cash. Maybe not. Either way, it's worth a read.
"You'd assume the waning light, the overnight frosts and morning temperatures hovering just above freezing would trigger sadness and regret. They do. But it's a peculiar kind of melancholy, one with sweetness and nostalgia mixed in." —This dude really likes fall, and who can blame him, it is the best season.
"You know, I haven’t thought about it in ages, but I remember that frisson of first going online. The portent and the thrill. The scariest thing about all of this was that I wanted to represent that, but if you make the online world sound too awesome, then the offline stuff is like, Why are we watching this?
Totally. Like when we have to go to Stabler’s house in SVU. Who wants to go to Stabler’s house when it’s so sad? I mean, what was up with his tedious wife? Whereas we just wanted to know about Mariska’s house because: child of rape. Also, how come we don’t ever go [...]
"There are many quasi-religious practices in our increasingly secular era: consumerism, drunkenly cheering the local sports franchise, playing Quidditch at Ivy League universities, the 'Cult of Mac,' etc. Unlike these ritualized amusements, environmentalism is actually spiritual. It combines the oldest forms of nature worship with the Good and Evil of monotheistic faiths and the transcendence of Buddhism, all leading to a utopian goal of an Earthly Paradise—a state of grace with creation, which is exactly what saints and seekers have always pursued…. So what would happen if 10 million or 50 million religious environmentalists suddenly appeared on the national scene?"
"Many news articles over the years have described Dr. Benerito as the sole inventor of wrinkle-free cotton, a distinction she repeatedly disavowed. In the shorthand mythologizing to which the mass media can fall prey, 'permanent press' seems to have been a convenient hook on which to hang her many achievements in less readily understood areas of chemistry. Her demurrals, in polite Southern tones, were widely ascribed to modesty. In reality, wrinkle-free cotton first appeared in the 19th century, developed by a Shaker community in Maine. In the 20th, many scientists contributed incrementally to the problem of persuading cotton, constitutionally crease-prone, to lie down and behave." —I don't want to say [...]
We've all thought: hey, there oughta be a German word for that. (Have we ever.) Now here comes Schottenfreude, from our Internet pal Ben Schott—it's coming down the pike in a month. You can get it from your book vendor of choice.
And mark your calendars for what will surely be a very serious lecture at Cooper Union on November 1.
Yesterday we cornered Brooklyn Book Festival panelists and asked them: who do you like among the younger generation of writers? Some of them had great answers!Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs
Gosh, the younger generation being under what? [“That’s up to you.”] You know, I’m a big fan of Sheila Heti. Does she count as the younger generation? She’s over thirty, though, she’s 35. [She’ll be 37 on Christmas.] Turn it off a for second, I just have to think! Because I’ve been mostly reading old and dead people, lately, so it takes me a minute to—turn that off! [The recorder is turned off. Then turned back on.] There’s a [...]