Each year, "The Castle"—a West Harlem halfway house whose nickname comes from its miniature lookout towers and its gray crenellations—puts on a Halloween celebration for its residents and the general public. As a huge fan of Halloween, which is not generally observed in my native Germany, I was eager to be there when Angel, one of 60 or so halfway house residents, celebrated it for the first time in more than three decades.
I had been reporting on Angel's life since shortly after his release from prison in March of 2007. In 1978, shortly after turning 18, Angel had murdered a 16-year-old girl. He was 47 when he was [...]
In Inherent Vice, a perhaps minor novel by Thomas Pynchon, that great chronicler of history at an angle, the pothead detective Doc Sportello frequently runs into, and gets help from, some science geeks—proto-nerds who use a semi-privatized version of ARPANET to help Sportello get info on the various people he’s hazily tracking.
These are seemingly throwaway characters, just a few minor notes in the typical Pynchonian symphony of bizarre names and tangled plot strands and sinister conspiracies. But they are more than that. They are the prophets of our modern world, where everything is connected, and where not only can anyone with the right access track everyone else, [...]
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 [...]
You might remember Rudolph Delson as the fellow who reviewed all those vice presidential memoirs right here, when you and he and Sarah Palin were all so young and so promising. Or you might not!
Well now here is his latest project: a vast on-line comedy, an adventure through New York City to the Land of the Dead. You can marry any of four women named Pippa. You can hang out with optimistic capitalists, or with misanthropic ecologists, or with your father, or you can spend entire chapters alone aboard a sailboat on the Pacific. You can see San Francisco after the collapse of Western Civilization. You [...]
The following are excerpts from every piece in The Classical Magazine’s baseball issue, "The Same Old Game." You can read "The Same Old Game" a few different ways. The most highly recommended, if you're an Apple user, is to just get the app: it's free, and comes with a free issue, then it's $3.99 for an issue, or $29.99 for a full year of 12 issues. (There are also PDF, Kindle, and .Puig files available DIY style at the same prices. Just get in touch with Pete Beatty at firstname.lastname@example.org to work out a transaction.)
Why are we doing this? Well, The Classical offered us a piece [...]
Sometimes young people get in trouble for talking to the trashy media, or for writing first-person essays. Then everyone gets all upset and exercised. So it is, so it has been for some time. Ask May Marcy McClellan, who scandalized Europe by talking smack about the Italians—and became the launching-off point for a Henry James novel.