David Foster Wallace on commercial entertainment, the redemptive power of reading, and the future of writing in the age of information – highlights from his fantastic 1996 Charlie Rose interview.
I also like “There’s this part that makes you feel full. There’s this part that is redemptive and instructive, [so that] when you read something, it’s not just delight — you go, “Oh my god, that’s me! I’ve lived like that, I’ve felt like that, I’m not alone in the world…”
A smart, spot-on list of contemporary books to read based on your youthful favorites.
McBride’s widely lauded novel is full of fragmented, floating sentences that sometimes feel like only gestures at sentences, like gestures at the things under thoughts, that real, pre-language stuff. It’s hard going at first, but once you let the language wash over you and form a rhythm, the book blossoms into a gorgeous, brutal stream of word and thought. (via Experimental Novels Everyone Should Read – Flavorwire)
A great description of what it’s like to read this amazing book.
Answers at: Classic first lines of novels in emojis: A quiz.
We got 10 out of 12! Not bad; we innocently did not cotton on to the eggplant symbolism. How’d you do?
The Jewish Book Council has created this neat literary map of NYC that highlights some of the Jewish writers who’ve written about the city. The map includes Dara Horn, Philip Roth, J. D. Salinger, and many more. (via A Jewish Literary Map of NYC | Electric Literature)
"I don’t want to always write stories about the same kind of disaffected, angsty youngish dude. Everyone assumes he’s a proxy for the author, which is frustrating because he usually isn’t. But it can also be frustrating because sometimes he is, and there are better places to hide than in your own skin. Anyway, I realized that just because a story has someone demographically like me in it, that character shouldn’t automatically get protagonist status. There are, of course, still angsty youngish dudes in this book, but they had to earn their place at the table in a way they didn’t before."
—Justin Taylor via Justin Taylor interview: ‘I don’t always want to write about the same disaffected, angsty dude’
Justin is here with Jess Row NEXT week, for Where Are Jess Row and Justin Taylor? on August 26; don’t miss it or his new book, Flings, out today.
"Maybe I’m out of touch, but I’d rather go to an actual shop—preferably a small one—than to a harshly lit superstore, or, worse still, a website. I don’t want to buy my books and my toilet paper and my clothing all under the same roof. I want beauty in my life. I want charm. I want contact with actual people. It is, for me, a large part of what makes life worth living."
If a bookshelf and a comfy chair met in a bar, hit it off, and had a baby, the result would be this chair, from furniture company Nobody & Co. It’s called the Bibliochaise, and for lazy readers (aren’t we all?), it’s the library of the future. The Bibliochaise — which really looks more like a throne — holds five meters of books, which works out to about 300 of your favorite classics. (via The Bibliochaise Bookshelf Chair Is a Miniature Library for Your Apartment | Swimmingly)
"A story of second chances, D’Erasmo has meticulously crafted a work that, with the exception of a small lull midnovel, constantly builds, yet often feels incredibly casual. Days and shows pass, but within this routine, a transformation slowly creeps into the narrative: that of commitment, and, perhaps, hope for the future." (via Fiction Book Review: Wonderland by Stacey D’Erasmo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22 (256p) ISBN 978-0-544-07481-1)
Join us on Tuesday, May 6 to celebrate the launch of this wonderful novel with Stacey D’Erasmo, Elissa Schappell, and musician Rachel Yamagata! More info.