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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Wolfe’

Authors in Uniform, and Other News

October 25, 2013 | by

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  • From Twain to Wolfe to Tartt: authors in uniform.
  • Fittingly enough, fisticuffs at the Norman Mailer: A Double Life party.
  • The Asterix reboot, set in ancient Scotland, is being hailed by (a few, possibly as few as none) Scottish nationalists as an endorsement in the referendum debates.
  • The Iranian culture minister promises a relaxation of book censorship under the new regime.
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    Anonymous Library Sculptures, and Other News

    June 21, 2013 | by

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  • Anonymous, bookish sculptures have been popping up at Scottish libraries.
  • “It’s nice to go out with a bang”: Alice Munro may (or may not) retire.
  • This will, predicts The New Republic, result in the sort of tedious furor that accompanies any such statement.
  • Some pediatricians are prescribing books to small children: great! (Lollipops are, presumably, a thing of the past.)
  • Tom Wolfe’s next bookThe Kingdom of Speech, is a “nonfiction account of the animal/human speech divide.”
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    We Have a … Winner? (NSFW-ish)

    December 5, 2012 | by

    The votes are in, the people have spoken, and the winner of the 2012 Bad Sex in Fiction Award is Canadian novelist Nancy Huston, for her novel Infrared. Here is the publisher’s description:

    Award-winning author Nancy Huston follows her bestselling novel, Fault Lines, winner of the Prix Femina, with an intensely provocative story about a passionate yet emotionally-wounded woman’s sexual explorations.

    After a troubled childhood and two failed marriages, Rena Greenblatt has achieved success as a photographer. She specializes in infrared techniques that expose her pictures’ otherwise hidden landscapes and capture the raw essence of deeply private moments in the lives of her subjects.

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    The Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2012: Shortlist

    November 20, 2012 | by

    The Literary Review has released the shortlist for the twentieth annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award. The nominees for achievement in terrible sex writing include:

  • The Yips, by Nicola Barker
  • The Adventuress, by Nicholas Coleridge
  • Infrared, by Nancy Huston
  • Rare Earth, by Paul Mason
  • Noughties, by Ben Masters
  • The Quiddity of Will Self, by Sam Mills
  • The Divine Comedy, by Craig Raine
  • Back to Blood, by Tom Wolfe
  • Mr. Wolfe, you will recall, is a previous winner, having taken top honors in 2004 for I Am Charlotte Simmons. He was deemed eligible for this year’s awards by dint of passages like the following:

    But then the tips of her breasts became erect on their own, and the flood in her loins washed morals, despair, and all other abstract assessments away in a cloud of some sort of divine cologne of his. Now his big generative jockey was inside her pelvic saddle, riding, riding, riding, and she was eagerly swallowing it swallowing it swallowing it with the saddle’s own lips and maw—all without a word.

    Bad, assuredly. But is it bad enough to take the prize? Find out on December 4. Until then, follow the process via @lit_review. (The tweets are tagged as #LRBadSex2012.)

    And for a glimpse into the judging process, check this out:

     

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    George Eliot’s Desk Stolen, and Other News

    November 20, 2012 | by

  • George Eliot’s writing desk has been stolen from the Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery in Warwickshire. (It’s a lap desk, so that was easier than it sounds.) A local councillor calls the theft “a low blow.”
  • “This event, mixing an author and an apartment, is just one of many such gatherings that have taken place at buildings across Manhattan in recent months.” Come for the reading, stay for the pricey real estate! Take heart from the fact that books are … bait?
  • Look on his works, and tremble: all Tom Wolfe’s books, arrayed.
  • In case you were wondering, Helen Vendler is reading John Ashbery and D. A. Powell. Among others. No novels, though! “If you like the precision and concision of poetry a page of prose is unsatisfying in a certain way.”
  • “We liked the the double meaning of weather and communication,” says Jay Schwartz of Dictionary.com, which has named bluster its word of 2012.
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    Literary Paint Chips: Gallery 3

    May 14, 2012 | by

    Paint Samples, suitable for the home, sourced from colors in literature. As seen in our two-hundredth issue.

    Fox Stain1 Graham Greene2 Iteration Pudding3 Hood4
    Fence5 Skipper’s Whiff6 Pizza7 Noise White8
    Martyr’s Tongue9 League10 Funeral Suit11 Dead Sea12
    Doze13 Dishwater Blonde14 Stupid Blue15 Dorsal16
    Bible Black17 Lo’s Socks18 Poop Poop19 American Autumn20
    Damned Spot21 Spit Black22 Georgie’s Pins23 Oatmeal Tweed24
    Treasure Blue25 Nimbus Card26 Felon Yellow27 Wine-dark28

    Annotations

    1. “The season’s ill— / we’ve lost our summer millionaire, / who seemed to leap from an L. L. Bean / catalogue. His nine-knot yawl / was auctioned off to lobstermen. / A red fox stain covers Blue Hill.” “Skunk Hour,” Robert Lowell.
    2. Graham Greene
    3. “But if you stir backward, the jam will not come together again. Indeed, the pudding does not notice and continues to turn pink just as before. Do you think this is odd?” ‘Arcadia,’ Tom Stoppard.
    4. “Her mother was excessively fond of her; and her grandmother doted on her still more. This good woman got made for her a little red riding hood.” “Little Red Riding Hood,” Charles Perrault.
    5. “Sighing, he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost plank; repeated the operation; did it again; compared the insignificant whitewashed streak with the far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed fence, and sat down on a tree-box discouraged.” ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,’ Mark Twain.
    6. “Wendell takes a whiff of Skipper, who is wearing what used to be a pair of pink flowered pajamas. A small bit of satin ribbon is still visible around her neck, but the rest, including her smiling face, is wet brown mud and something else. ‘Part of this is poop,’ Wendell hollers.” “Cousins,” Jo Ann Beard.
    7. “She noticed a piece of bright orange pizza stuck between his teeth, and it endeared him to her.” “A Romantic Weekend,” Mary Gaitskill.
    8. “I heard a noise, faint, monotonous, white.” ‘White Noise,’ Don DeLillo.
    9. “St. John Nepomucene was martyred in Prague in 1393 for refusing to reveal a secret of the confessional. His tongue has been entirely preserved. Experts examined it 332 years later in 1725, and testified that it was the shape, color, and length of the tongue of a living person, and that it was also soft and flexible.” ‘Beautiful Losers,’ Leonard Cohen.
    10. “Then, again, I have heard it is no use your applying if your hair is light red, or dark red, or anything but real bright, blazing, fiery red.” “The Red-Headed League,” Arthur Conan Doyle.
    11. “In the meantime I unpacked my bag, opened the wardrobe and hung up the dark gray suit I had taken along to Chur as my funeral suit, so to speak.” ‘The Loser,’ Thomas Bernhard.
    12. “I remember the maps of the Holy Land. Colored they were. Very pretty. The Dead Sea was pale blue. The very look of it made me thirsty. That’s where we’ll go, I used to say, that’s where we’ll go for our honeymoon. We’ll swim. We’ll be happy.” ‘Waiting for Godot,’ Samuel Beckett.
    13. “And then I went off into a blue doze, sitting there in the car next to William. I was thinking about Josephine who is also this very dear friend of mine.” ‘Novel on Yellow Paper,’ Stevie Smith.
    14. “... a jewelry box in which a strand of Mary’s dishwater-blonde hair lay bedded on cotton.” ‘The Virgin Suicides,’ Jeffrey Eugenides.
    15. “I had forgotten about his eyes. They were as blue as the sides of a certain type of box of matches. When you looked at them carefully you saw that they were perfectly honest, perfectly straightforward, perfectly, perfectly stupid.” ‘The Good Soldier,’ Ford Madox Ford.
    16. “It took Brody’s eyes a moment to adjust, but then he saw the fin—a ragged brownish-gray triangle that sliced through the water, followed by the scythed tail sweeping left and right with short, spasmodic thrusts.” ‘Jaws,’ Peter Benchley.
    17. “It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and-rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crow-black, fishingboat-bobbing sea.” ‘Under Milk Wood,’ Dylan Thomas.
    18. “Officer, officer there they go— / In the rain, where that lighted store is! / And her socks are white, and I love her so, / And her name is Haze, Dolores.” ‘Lolita,’ Vladimir Nabokov.
    19. “They reached the carriage-drive of Toad Hall to find, as the Badger had anticipated, a shiny new motor-car, of great size, painted a bright red (Toad’s favorite color), standing in front of the house.” ‘The Wind in the Willows,’ Kenneth Grahame.
    20. “The afternoon was perfect. A deeper stillness possessed the air, and the glitter of the American autumn was tempered by a haze which diffused the brightness without dulling it.” ‘The House of Mirth,’ Edith Wharton.
    21. “Out, damned spot! out, I say!” ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth,’ William Shakespeare.
    22. “The restaurant to which he took us was a theater people’s one, not very far away, and filled with gentlemen in fancy waistcoats just like himself, and with girls and boys like Kitty, with streaks of greasepaint on their cuffs and crumbs of spit-black in the corners of their eyes.” ‘Tipping the Velvet,’ Sarah Waters.
    23. “Then she hitched up her skirt and some layers of stiff white petticoat and began to draw on a pair of peacock-blue stockings which I had given her.” ‘A Severed Head,’ Iris Murdoch.
    24. “You wouldn’t be able to decorate out a table in afromosia teak veneer, an armchair in oatmeal tweed and a beech frame settee with a woven sea-grass seat? ” ‘The Caretaker,’ Harold Pinter.
    25. “He then explained to me that it was commonly believed that on a certain night of the year—last night, in fact, when all evil spirits are supposed to have unchecked sway—a blue flame is seen over any place where treasure has been concealed.” ‘Dracula,’ Bram Stoker.
    26. “Suddenly the restaurant seems far away, hushed, the noise distant, a meaningless hum, compared to this card, and we all hear Price’s words: ‘Raised lettering, pale nimbus white...’” ‘American Psycho,’ Bret Easton Ellis.
    27. “Conrad now surveyed the pod room with a horrible clarity. It was a foul gray chamber inhabited by grim organisms in yellow felony pajamas who arranged themselves in primitive territorial packs.” ‘A Man in Full,’ Tom Wolfe.
    28. “As far as a man seeth with his eyes into the haze of distance as he sitteth on a place of outlook and gazeth over the wine-dark sea, so far leap the loudly neighing horses of the gods.” ‘The Iliad,’ Homer.

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