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Posts Tagged ‘2666’

Bolaño Hits the Powerball Jackpot, and Other News

March 17, 2015 | by

Illustration by Hache Holguin.

Illustration by Hache Holguin

  • Chicago’s Goodman Theater is mounting a five-hour adaptation of Bolaño’s 2666. The production is underwritten by a grant from “an actor and stage manager turned Episcopal monk who pledged last year to give away much of his $153 million Powerball jackpot” to support the arts.
  • Are you tired of suffering through novels rife with profanity and cussing? Try Clean Reader, “the only e-reader that gives you the power to hide swear words”—it’ll change bastard to jerk, damn to darn, and presumably render most David Mamet plays unreadable. And here’s a winning slice of the Clean Reader philosophy: “Will some authors be offended that some of their consumers use Clean Reader to pick out most of the profanity in their books? Perhaps. Should the reader feel bad about it? Nope. They’ve paid good money for the book, they can consume it how they want.”
  • For the literary critic F. R. Leavis—who was, by the time of his death in 1978, totally out of fashion—great books were judgments about life, and “when a great novel or poem is used to support some generalization about culture, the qualities which make it worth reading tend to be ignored.” Leavis abstained, dogmatically, from the pleasures of pop: “Leavis declined ‘intellectual slumming’ of any sort. If he got winded, he put Schubert on the gramophone or read a neglected classic.”
  • How music hijacks our sense of time: “In 2004, the Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring deemed Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyrie the most dangerous music to listen to while driving. It is not so much the distraction, but the substitution of the frenzied tempo of the music that challenges drivers’ normal sense of speed—and the objective cue of the speedometer—and causes them to speed.”
  • On getting a start as a critic: “I drew on a quality—a resource, a tool—that is very dear to me, and, I’d venture to say, very dear to most people who write reviews: arrogance … There’s good arrogance, too, just like there’s good cholesterol: arrogance that bolsters you, that allows you to feel that your judgment might be sound, that it might—and this is when the reviewer’s mind starts warming up, starts humming—be even better than sound.”

The Part About the Helmets

June 17, 2013 | by

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We were thrilled to run across this custom bike helmet, modeled on the 2666 cover designed by Charlotte Strick (who just happens to be The Paris Review’s art editor!). Says Ariel Abrahams, who commissioned the literary topper,

I chose my design because when I read the book 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, I was literally taken aback. I had to sit down, stop my life and just read. I really fell in love. I thought a bike helmet depicting the magical sea-life images from the cover of the third book of 2666 would commemorate these overwhelming, larger than life feelings somehow. If you have read the book, you know the importance of the sea creature images to the tone of the story.

 

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Cake and Pie, and Other News

February 19, 2013 | by

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  • 2666, in pie-chart form. (Black, in case you were wondering, represents “dread, unease, foreboding.”)
  • Not merely one book-themed cupcake, but a series. (We look forward to 2666.)
  • “Let us not speak of the cookbooks.” A pair of academics attempt to organize their library
  • There is no Hilary Mantel–Kate Middleton feud!
  • Mantel just called the duchess “a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung ... without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character.” And no Anne Boleyn.
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