January 2010


young salter: fighter pilot and ladies' man. what's your day job?

There is the knowledge of the senses that includes carnal happiness, and a greater knowledge that comes from intellect and reason. In the life we admire, one succeeds the other but does not dislodge it.

–James Salter, There and Then


Power Quote / 4 Comments
January 28th, 2010 / 12:39 pm

Very Short List just sent me a link to a site that chronicals reusable cover art in historical novels. I am strangely and inexplicably fascinated by the recycling. I think it’s John Berger in Ways of Seeing who talks about how reproductions have changed the way we see art. Repetition as its own artform. I’m sure a boatload of folks have made that observation, come to think of it.

What about the book called Kleopatra and the one called Scheherazade with the same black-veiled woman on the cover?


jami lives in a very brooklyn building

Jami Attenberg’s new novel The Melting Season just came out from Riverhead, and she’s reading tonight at Word Bookstore in Brooklyn.  The novel’s about a woman named Moonie Madison whose husband has a micropenis, and she has some adventures involving lost women, dangerous men, Prince impersonators, and Vegas.  The writing is really good and the book is Jami’s best so far.  (I reviewed her first novel, The Kept Man, when it came out, and her collection Instant Love is excellent.)  I asked her some questions about the book and about writing sex scenes and what kind of musician impersonator she’d like to hook up with.

Author Spotlight / 6 Comments
January 28th, 2010 / 11:43 am

Consollection [via Clusterflock]

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Quite an unusual gaming system with everything being handled through a built-in LED-matrix. Punchcards were offering different gaming-possibilities.


More from Around the Web


Because hey, why not?

(via Bookslut blog) Barbara J. King, long-time Bookslut contributor, has just published a new book. It is Being with Animals: Why We are Obsessed with the Furry, Scaly, Feathered Creatures Who Populate Our World. Congrats, Barbara! Also, Jessa keeps linking to Dinosaur Ballet, and if it’s important to her then by God it’s important to us, too.

Scott Timberg has been writing about Philip K. Dick at the LA Times’s Hero Complex blog. It’s a six-part series, of which two parts are live so far. Here’s Part One, and here’s Part Two. Also, note that Timberg is doing a guest-blogging stint on io9.com this week. Highlights from the run so far include “How SF Crushes Highbrow Fiction,” “New Evidence that Frank Herbert Loved David Lynch’s Version of Dune,” and “The Extinct Animals We Never Knew.” He and I were emailing today about Apocalypse stuff–so one presumes there’ll be a that-related, me-quoting post in the imminent future. Stay tuned. (Also, Scott’s own blog, The Misread City.)

The Nation‘s got Miriam Markowitz on Cristina Nehring’s A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-first Century.

Did it already get blogged here that The Story Prize nominees have been announced? In any case, they are (for the maybe second time) Wells Tower for Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned; Daniyal Mueenuddin for In Other Rooms, Other Wonders; and Victoria Patterson for Drift. Hearty cheers all around.

At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow tells us about The Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results. (Go direct to the JSUR here.)

Oh, and what’s TNR’s The Book been up to? Well, Sean Wilentz says that “no great American has suffered more cruelly and undeservedly at the hands of historians than Ulysses S. Grant.” The hell you say! He takes a good long look at U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth by Joan Waugh. Meanwhile, Ellen Handler Spitz review a children’s book, The Three Pigs by David Wiesner, and it is on this note that I will leave you.

The earliest versions of the Three Pigs story are buried in time, although we do have nineteenth-century English renderings of it. I want, as a foil, to consider Disney’s Silly Symphony animation, from 1932, with its refrain, “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?,” frequently issued in print form and known worldwide, because it forms, like so much of Disney’s work, an inescapable template. Disney’s pigs are “little,” that is, they are children; whereas Wiesner’s pigs are neither verbally nor pictorially “little.” On the book jacket, Wiesner’s three porkers zoom in and eye us. We go snout to snout with them, as if looking in a mirror.

Random / 7 Comments
January 27th, 2010 / 7:59 pm

R.I.P. Howard Zinn

Gawker is reporting, via Boston.com, that Howard Zinn has died of a heart attack. He was 87. From the Boston.com piece-

For Dr. Zinn, activism was a natural extension of the revisionist brand of history he taught. Dr. Zinn’s best-known book, “A People’s History of the United States” (1980), had for its heroes not the Founding Fathers — many of them slaveholders and deeply attached to the status quo, as Dr. Zinn was quick to point out — but rather the farmers of Shays’ Rebellion and the union organizers of the 1930s.As he wrote in his autobiography, “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train” (1994), “From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than ‘objectivity’; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.”

Author News / 18 Comments
January 27th, 2010 / 7:35 pm

This semester I’m taking a class on embodiment. You have a number of options for a final project. One of them is: “The construction of an original piece (or pieces) of art and a 7 page discussion of the impact of one or more of the theoretical works on its production.” How cool is that? What are some good works that deal creatively with the body, or with the collapsing of mind and body? What’s compelling or unique about the work’s approach?

EPidemIC Poetry, a modified Exquisite Corpse

Take a poem or very short prose piece you really like and send it to a small number of poet/prose writing friends. Let’s say five. Send along this message:

“This is the spreading of an infection. Read this piece of writing. Become infected by it. Respond to it with a piece of writing that includes a line or a phrase from it. Send the results to the author of this piece of writing. (If you do not have time to do so, you have resisted the infection. Thank your immune system.) Also, send the results to five more people and infect them. Send this message along with it. When you receive the results, return them all to the person who started the infection.

“This infection began with _____.” (Fill this in only if you are the first person to start the infection.

Collect the results. See how the infection has spread. See how the virus has mutated.

At some point, tell us how it went.

Craft Notes / 2 Comments
January 27th, 2010 / 6:44 pm

(1) Ross Simonini discusses nonsense and Carl Sandburg at Poetry Foundation.
(2) Johannes Göransson looks at “fashion” and its context on writing at Exoskeleton.
(3) Michael Kimball interviews Padgett Powell at The Faster Times.