The Paris Review Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Bret Easton Ellis’

Opulence of Twaddle, Penury of Sense, and Other News

February 19, 2014 | by

Ambrose_Bierce_1892-10-07

Bierce in 1892, barely containing his rage. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

 

1 COMMENT

Proust, Lost in Translation

May 6, 2013 | by

Marcel_Proust_1900-2

The first volume of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way was published almost exactly a hundred years ago. Its opening lines make one thing inescapably apparent: Proust’s style is inimitable; there is much more to it than long sentences, pauses for reminiscence and brittle cookie breaks, and whatever other tropes readers have associated with Proust. It is a style that tussles with our notion of literary temporality itself. Over the last century, countless translators have struggled with these famous opening lines:

Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure. Parfois, à peine ma bougie éteinte, mes yeux se fermaient si vite que je n’avais pas le temps de me dire: « Je m’endors. »

Nobody seems to be able to agree whether to translate the verb of the principal clause as a conditional or a past participle, because while in French it is obviously the latter, it seems to act as the former. We’ve had various degrees of “went to bed early,” “used to go to bed early,” “would go to bed early,” each meaning more or less the same thing, but none hitting the nail directly on the head.

Scholars have found these lines, at once, undeniably charming and a huge pain to work with.

But in this seemingly untranslatable sentence, even among translators—whose very job it is to take troublesome idioms and phrases and grammatical twists and make them legible and appropriate, and to do so by imparting as much of Proust’s style and as little of their own as possible—there is so much variety that it raises another important question: How would this sentence have been handled by other writers? Read More »

Comments Off

What We’re Loving: Saintly Comics, High Relief

January 11, 2013 | by

In 1974, David Esterly was pursuing a career as an academic when he encountered a limewood carving by the seventeenth-century master Grinling Gibbons. He gave up English literature, devoted himself to the art of high-relief carving, and in the process became not merely the foremost Gribbons expert, but a master carver himself. The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making details Esterly’s restoration of a Gribbons drop at Hampton Court, but it is more than this. “I was apprenticed to a phantom, and lived among mysteries,” he writes of that time, and the memoir is indeed as much about engagement with the past, and the preservation of ancient arts, as it is one man’s journey. If you are in New York, through January 18, you can see Esterly’s intricate and beautiful work on display at W. M. Brady and Co. —Sadie Stein

No matter how hard you try, you can’t help but stare at a train wreck, and Stephen Rodrick’s behind-the-scenes New York Times Magazine profile of Paul Schrader’s film The Canyons fills the guilty-pleasure, sweet-tooth fix quite nicely. A director desperate for a hit; a screenwriter (Bret Easton Ellis) more concerned with waging social-media jihads than actually writing; a porn star (James Deen) with a sensitive side; a budget that wouldn’t cover Kanye West’s ego; and, of course, Hollywood’s favorite child-star-turned-TMZ-punchline Lindsay Lohan: while this equation might not add up to a box office hit, it’s a fascinating look at the absurdity of Hollywood filmmaking. To see what’s become of the film so far, check out the trailer. —Justin Alvarez

Read More »

1 COMMENT

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Turns Down 50,000 Euro Poetry Prize

October 12, 2012 | by

  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti has declined the fifty-thousand-euro Janus Pannonius International Poetry Prize from the Hungarian branch of PEN, citing the government’s suppression of free speech.
  • Bret Easton Ellis is most seriously displeased: despite his aggressive campaigning, he has not been chosen as the screenwriter for Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • A map of the world based on book publishing.
  • The taxonomy of the literary Halloween costume.
  • “Underwear is definitely pants” and other lies writers tell themselves.
  • [tweetbutton]

    [facebook_ilike]

    2 COMMENTS

    Code 451, Psychotic Real Estate

    June 26, 2012 | by

  • In what might be the ultimate honor, it has been proposed that the Internet pay tribute to Ray Bradbury. Says The Guardian, “Tim Bray, a fan of Bradbury’s writing, is recommending to the Internet Engineering Task Force, which governs such choices, that when access to a website is denied for legal reasons the user is given the status code 451.”
  • Happy birthday, Yves Bonnefoy!
  • Letters to young poets. (And novelists, playwrights, and journalists!)
  • Buy Bret Easton Ellis’s apartment. If you dare. To spend a lot.
  • It is Audiobook Week, and in its honor, you can win a classic pulp noir.

  • NO COMMENTS

    50 Shades of Wednesday

    June 13, 2012 | by

  • Familiar-looking cover art.
  • Bret Easton Ellis wants you to know he is not joking about his desire to adapt 50 Shades of Grey for the screen.
  • (Someone’s already called dibs on lingerie.)
  • How said screenplay might read.
  • Speaking of NSFW: Can you, like Martin Amis, tell which sex wrote which sex scene?
  • Jennifer Benka is the new executive director of the Academy of American Poets.
  • A Ray Bradbury Museum? Maybe ...
  • Speaking of, childhood homes of twenty famous authors.
  •  

    NO COMMENTS