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On the Shelf

November 30, 2011 | by

A cultural news roundup.

  • “His innate humility counters his naked ambition, his earnest sentimentality complements the company’s ironic capering, and the shy reediness of his singing voice strengthens the appeal of lyrics steeled with resolution.” On Kermit the Frog.
  • Long-lost Kerouac.
  • Long-lost Brontë.
  • Long-lost Walt Disney, in pictures.
  • The lost art of titles.
  • “You better get fitted for a black eyepatch in case one of yours gets gouged out by a bushy-haired stranger in a dimly lit parking lot. How fast can you learn Braille?” Cruel rejection letters.
  • Judy Blume: “I would cry when the rejections came in—the first couple of times, anyway—and I would go to sleep feeling down, but I would wake up in the morning optimistic and saying, ‘Well, maybe they didn't like that one, but wait till they see what I'm going to do next.’”
  • Miranda July sets up shop in SoHo.
  • Pippa instructs on how to be the perfect party hostess.
  • Margaret Atwood draws!
  • Obama pushes books!
  • Ray Bradbury relents!
  • 1 COMMENT

    ‘DOC’ at Anthology Film Archives

    September 30, 2011 | by

    The weekend looks rainy, but Doc is prepared, and you can be, too. See the Paris Review founding editor in action this weekend in his daughter Immy’s documentary about his madcap life as a filmmaker, novelist, architect, and Renaissance man. DOC plays at the Anthology Film Archives on Saturday, October 1 at 7:30 P.M. and Sunday, October 2 at 6:00 P.M. and 8:45 P.M. (As a bonus, it will be shown with Don Drasin’s Sunday and excerpts from Humes’s own unfinished Don Peyote.) We’ll be there with t-shirts and other Paris Review goodies.

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    Come Celebrate Our Fall Issue

    September 9, 2011 | by

    A reminder that we hope to see you all tomorrow night at Fontana’s Bar for our Fall Issue launch. The party will start at 8:15 P.M.: advance copies of the issue, live music from the Dog House Band, and all of us decked out in our finest. Don’t miss it.

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    Portfolio: Miroslav Tichý

    August 8, 2011 | by

    Untitled, ca. 1950s–80s, black-and-white photograph with graphite, mounted.

    “If you want to be famous,” photographer Miroslav Tichý once said, “you must do something more badly than anybody in the entire world.” Born in 1926 in Czechoslovakia, Tichý spent decades taking voyeuristic photographs of women bathing. His subjects are caught unawares, often through fences or peepholes, in an erotically isolated moment. The pictures are spotted, blurred, crooked, scratched, and underexposed—done, by any conventional standards, “badly.” These flaws of execution are surpassed only by the crudeness of Tichý’s cameras, which were made with materials such as shoeboxes, tin cans, toilet-paper rolls, sandpaper, and toothpaste.

    Tichý the man was equally disheveled. A ragged town eccentric, he had been trained as a classical painter but quit the academy after the Communist takeover forced artists to focus on socialist subjects. He remained, however, a diligent practitioner of the arts. He took three rolls of film a day, printed each negative only once, and embellished the prints with homemade frames. The results amount to a clever commentary on the state; his disguised cameras and the atmosphere of surveillance in his work subtly allude to the surveillance of the society at large. But the furtive pictures are also beautiful. They recall the scratched bodies of Degas’s bathers; they presage the soft focus of Richter. Their imperfection imprints them with the personal. As Tichý himself said, “A mistake. That’s what makes the poetry.” Read More »

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