A cultural news roundup.
- Theodore Roszak, a chronicler of the 1960s who coined the term counterculture, died this week at 77.
- Hugh Grant for Prime Minister.
- Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo has won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story “Hitting Budapest.”
- Penelope Lively calls Kindle readers “bloodless nerds.”
- In the spirit of “misery loves company,” the Web site My Unfinished Novels encourages frustrated writers to “share your creative failures.”
- Science fiction and religion.
- Harry Potter and religion.
- Miami artist Agustina Woodgate calls herself a “poetry bomber”: she sews tiny bits of poetry into garments in area thrift stores. “Sewing poems in clothes is a way of bringing poetry to everyday life just by displacing it, by removing it from a paper to integrate it and fuse it with our lives. Sometimes little details are stronger when they are separated from where they are expected to be,” she says.
- A brief history of title design.
- Reading retreats: book lovers’ dream vacations.
- Bill Keller is tired of his reporters who want to write books.
- Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca gets the Broadway treatment, for good or ill.
- Artist Cy Twombly died this week at eighty-three.
- Newly revealed letters point to the existence of unpublished Salinger manuscripts.
- People do, in fact, give a damn about an Oxford comma.
- The best party game of all time gets its due.
- “Hemingway’s remains one of the iconic American deaths. He has come close to being remembered as much for his death as for his work, a terrible fate for a writer.”
- Penguin launches an app.
- For the first time, documents from the Vatican’s secret archives will go on view.
- Hang onto those proofs!
- When they’re good, they’re very, very good: the Mobys celebrate the best and worst in book trailers.
- “You should not have idle hands, you should always be working. All your life.” And other words of wisdom from Chekhov.
- No rabbits were harmed in the making of As You Like It.
For over the last year, Thomas Bean and Luke Polling have been working on a documentary about George Plimpton called, well, Plimpton!. Today they launched a Kickstarter project to help them cover the expensive costs of paying for archival footage. Watch the video above to see a short clip of the film, which combines Plimpton’s own narration with interviews from his family and friends such as Peter Matthiessen, Gay Talese, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Mike Milbury, Elaine Kaufman, Robert Silvers, James Lipton, Jay McInerney, and Hugh Hefner.
If you donate $100 or more to the film, you’ll receive a Paris Review subscription along with a DVD of the film and other goodies. We can’t wait to see the finished project!
A cultural news roundup.
- A. Whitney Ellsworth, the first publisher of The New York Review of Books, has died at seventy-five.
- Even Kate Middleton’s spelling is under scrutiny.
- Andrea Levy’s The Long Song has won the Walter Scott prize for historical fiction.
- Whoa. Keanu Reeves writes poetry.
- Pottermore mania!
- Celebrate Independent Bookseller’s Week.
- The Hobbit movie will contain an elf character not found in the original book, to be played by Evangeline Lilly.
- The first self-published author to sell a million e-books is one John Locke (not to be confused with the philosopher).
- Says Jim Shepard of his ominously named story collection You Think That’s Bad: “It does seem to embody some of the characters’ worldviews … [It’s like saying,] ‘Wait until you see what’s coming.’”
- In order to compete against online retailers, independent bookstores may have to start charging for their events. Ann Patchett is concerned: “I wouldn’t want the people who have no idea who I am and have nothing else to do on a Wednesday night shut out. Those are your readers.”
- Who will win the Greenaway Medal?
- Meet the greatest baseball game ever played.
A cultural news roundup.
- Legendary travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor died this week at ninety-six. Described by the BBC as “a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene,” Fermor authored twelve books and numerous articles. A BBC tribute gives him his due.
- Australian minister for small businesses Nick Sherry has declared that the bookstore is doomed. Speaking in Canberra, the politician declared, “I think in five years, other than a few specialty bookshops in capital cities, you will not see a bookstore. They will cease to exist because of what’s happening with Internet-based, Web-based distribution … What’s occurring now is an exponential take-off—we’ve reached a tipping point.”
- Not one but two prominent “lesbian bloggers” are revealed to, in fact, be straight men.
- Francine Prose and Keri Hulme have sharp words for Naipaul.
- Rehabilitating the original “Uncle Tom.”
- Murakami publicly criticizes Japan’s nuclear policy.
- The return of Batgirl.
- Actor Mark Rylance quotes poet Louis Jenkins in his Tony acceptance speech.
- Werner Herzog will narrate an audio version of surprise-hit “bedtime story” Go the Fuck to Sleep.
- The 100 greatest nonfiction books?
The living is easy—and it’s time for our summer issue! Whether you’re on the beach, in transit, or just enjoying the long days at home, this is an issue to get lost in: find fiction by Jonathan Lethem, Amie Barrodale, and David Gates and the continuing story of Roberto Bolaño’s lost novel The Third Reich, with original illustrations by Leanne Shapton.
Big news: For the first time, readers can buy a digital version of The Paris Review—for easy access anytime, anywhere. TPR digital can be read on your iPad, laptop, or mobile device. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s instant gratification!
If, like us, you still enjoy a little sand between the pages of your beach-house reading, buy a subscription to the paper magazine—and get a Paris Review beach towel!* (We’d tell you to tuck it into a TPR tote, but that might sound pushy.)
From the summer issue:
An expansive interview with William Gibson:
What was more important was to name [my landscape] something cool, because it was never going to work unless it had a really good name. So the first thing I did was sit down with a yellow pad and a Sharpie and start scribbling—infospace, dataspace. I think I got cyberspace on the third try, and I thought, Oh, that’s a really weird word. I liked the way it felt in my mouth—I thought it sounded like it meant something while still being essentially hollow.
A frank interview with Samuel R. Delany:
Finding time to work is the main problem … You write a decent book, and you’re hired as a creative-writing teacher. The next thing you know, you’re director of the program, which basically means you get less time in class and more administration, which nobody likes, so that you can hardly write anything anymore.
A portfolio of video art curated by Marilyn Minter. Poetry by Frederick Seidel, Cathy Park Hong, Kevin Prufer, Lia Purpura, D. Nurkse, and Iman Mersal.