The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Robert Gottlieb’

The Mo Yan Culture Experience Zone, and Other News

October 23, 2012 | by

  • Call now! How to Sharpen Pencils comes to a TV near you.
  • Robert Gottlieb talks about editing the lurid novel The Best of Everything.
  • “A Dog barks, someone eats a watermelon, a car drives away”: the signifiers of literary fiction.
  • “Harriet Klausner claims to be a speed-reader. In the last decade, this former librarian has reviewed over 28,000 books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other sites.” On unmasking an online phenomenon.
  • Following Mo Yan’s Nobel win, the Chinese government has announced plans to turn his childhood home into the “Mo Yan Culture Experience Zone.”
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    Happy Birthday, Gatsby; Good-bye, Britannica

    April 11, 2012 | by

  • The eighth installment of Kramers Ergot moves toward (cerebral) genre.
  • Rule Britannia: An appreciation of the legendary eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • This Rizzoli boutique is far more lovely than one would expect a department-store bookstore to be.
  • What are the most frequently shoplifted books? Crowdsourcing the answer!
  • Guess who “enjoys working with Amazon”? Robert Gottlieb, that's who.
  • On the “Dark Lady of American Letters”: Margaret Fuller was a divisive figure due to “the effect of her manners, which expressed an overweening sense of power, and slight esteem of others … The men thought she carried too many guns, and the women did not like one who despised them.”
  • Bookish weddings.
  • Happy belated birthday, Great Gatsby.
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    Staff Picks: Bookplate Porn; Peanut Butter and Scotch

    August 19, 2011 | by

    I spent probably an hour paging through Martin Hopkinson’s Ex Libris: The Art of Bookplates at the Strand last week, then went back and bought it. If there’s such a thing as bookplate porn, this gorgeous book is the ultimate. —Sadie Stein

    I’ve been reading Robert Gottlieb’s Lives and Letters, a wonderful collection of essays on some of the century’s most illustrious figures. The portraits of the women, like Sarah Bernhardt, Isadora Duncan, and Margot Fonteyn, particularly sparkle. But my favorite is the short piece on Diana Vreeland, who once said, “Peanut butter is the greatest invention since Christianity,” about her daily lunch: a whole-wheat PB-and-marmalade sandwich, with a glass of scotch. —Ali Pechman

    Adam Zagajewski’s Unseen Hand came out in June, and I wish I hadn’t waited until now to read it. —Clare Fentress

    Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf’s final novel, was edited by Leonard and published posthumously with his revisions. Cambridge’s new annotated edition not only restores the original draft, but also provides a rich halo of context. –Deirdre Foley-Mendelssohn

    While a staff pick praising the work of the Review’s Southern editor John Jeremiah Sullivan feels a lot like Lemmy wearing a Motorhead shirt, Sullivan’s forthcoming collection of essays, Pulphead, is hands down the best thing I’ve read all year. Sullivan’s voice is straight out of bar stories, and his subjects—from Christian rockers at Creationfest to the Indiana origins of Axl Rose to proto–Tea Party protesters—line up for comic exploitation like so many fish in a barrel. But at the moment when lesser writers would pull the trigger and snigger, Sullivan steps back and asks you to understand the people he encounters on their own terms. Which is not to say the essays won’t have you laughing louder than public decency allows—because they will. But it’s their rare combination of bracing intelligence and empathy that stays with you. —Peter Conroy

    My most anticipated summer film: Don’t Fear the Internet. Next step is getting cast in the sequel to the Facebook movie (a girl can dream). —Mackenzie Beer

    After discovering that Netflix is streaming a handful of films by Hong Kong maestro Johnnie To, I went straight for The Heroic Trio, a kinetic superheroine flick starring Michelle Yeoh, Anita Mui, and Maggie Cheung. Yes, it is that good. —Nicole Rudick

    If you have a moment, try Mavis Gallant’s Granta essay on “Memory and Invention.” –S.S.

    Passive-aggressive little notepad, you remind me of my fifth-grade teacher. Other than that, I have no theories as to what’s going on here. Disturbing and fun! —A.P.

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    Catch-18

    August 4, 2011 | by

    A manuscript page from Catch-22. Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

    When Dad started Catch-22 in 1953, it was called Catch-18. Later, he and his young editor, Robert Gottlieb, changed the title because Leon Uris’s novel had usurped the number with Mila 18. I can remember nights at the dinner table with my parents tossing out different numbers. “Catch-27?” Nah, my father shook his head. “Catch-539?” Too long, too lumbering. I had no idea what they were talking about. Thank goodness for Bob, Dad’s übereditor at Simon & Schuster; he was the one to come up with the unremarkably remarkable number 22. Along with Dad’s redoubtable agent, Candida Donadio, and Nina Bourne, who plotted the clever, quirky promotional campaign for Catch-22, these were the book’s earliest disciples. Without them, not only wouldn’t there have been a number, there wouldn’t have been a book.

    To hear Bob talk about it, this modest, soft-spoken fellow who eventually ran Simon & Schuster and then Alfred A. Knopf, and succeeded William Shawn as editor of The New Yorker, one might think that Catch-22 had just tumbled from the skies one day fully formed, and that he had merely been there to catch it. In print he has said more than once that for an editor to call attention to himself and his contributions in an edited book is not only unseemly but irrelevant, but he’s not doing it here, I am. My father and Bob had real camaraderie and shared an almost mystical respect. No ego was involved, regardless of where Bob’s pencil flew or what he suggested deleting, moving, rewriting. To Dad, every word or stroke of this editor’s pencil was sacrosanct. Read More »

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