On the Shelf
#JonathanFranzenHates, Nabokoving, and Other News
March 7, 2012 | by Sadie Stein
A cultural news roundup.
“Once again, it’s that time of year when otherwise mature adults paint their faces in the palettes of their favorite book jacket designers, and all across Facebook college kids post pictures of themselves Nabokoving. Yes, we’re talking about book awards season.”
Happy birthday, John Updike!
Happy birthday, Douglas Adams!
Geoff Dyer on “bunking off.”
With friends like these, Saul Bellow didn’t need enemies.
Elizabeth Bowen and Jean Rhys get the “blue plaque treatment” in London.
Stephen King: “The idea that a writer can bring his core audience into the tent with a blurb ... you might as well try herding cats.”
The fact that Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s here is a selling point. The fact that it has eighteen rooms doesn’t hurt, either.
Footnotes upon footnotes in Footnote.
“Eggers named his journal after McSweeney before he knew anything about the man, and didn't discover his identity until after McSweeney died in January 2010 at age sixty-seven.”
The famously combative Ben Jonson.
Jonathan Franzen: “Twitter is unspeakably irritating. Twitter stands for everything I oppose … it’s hard to cite facts or create an argument in 140 characters … it’s like if Kafka had decided to make a video semaphoring The Metamorphosis. Or it’s like writing a novel without the letter ‘P’… It’s the ultimate irresponsible medium … People I care about are readers … particularly serious readers and writers, these are my people. And we do not like to yak about ourselves.”