1. Here’s a really good piece by British novelist Tom McCarthy, one of the brighter literary lights of our time: Technology and the Novel: From Blake to Ballard.
2. Jackson Ellis interviews poet Diane DiPrima.
3. Tod Goldberg: Glimmer Train Is The Best Death Metal Band Ever: A Guide To Literary Journals.
4. After postmodern novelist David Markson’s recent death, his impressive and highly personalized book collection showed up in pieces at the Strand Bookstore.
5. I’m definitely excited that Jay-Z’s memoir is coming out in November. I bet this will be a good one.
6. I’ve sometimes wondered why there aren’t more and better history blogs. But I’m continually impressed by the far-ranging and well-written Bozo Sapiens, by Michael and Ellen Kaplan. Clearly the leader in the history blog field.
7. William Faulkner at University of Virginia in the 1950s, captured on audio.
8. I don’t know how I feel about a movie dramatizing Kurt Cobain’s life. But if the movie’s going to be made, it’s probably good news that the screenwriter is Oren Moverman, who wrote the impressionistic Bob Dylan biopic I’m Not There. Maybe five different actors or actresses will play Kurt.
9. Adam Langer, author of Thieves of Manhattan, appreciates the books of Beverly Cleary. Speaking of whom: I saw a trailer for a new film called Ramona and Beezus. As far as I can tell from the trailer, this movie has absolutely zero resemblance to the great Cleary stories it’s based on (for one thing, the characters are several years older than in the books). It’s just another movie about a perky kid. I have no idea why they would bother to call this movie Ramona and Beezus.
10. This Telegraph article seems to imply that Harold Pinter responded in a beastly way to students who asked him questions about his work. But it seems to me he was simply answering honestly.
11. Where F. Scott’s Daisy Buchanan grew up.
12. Tao Lin can’t escape his shady past. Asked about the title of his novel: “I was quiet then said Shoplifting from American Apparel in a reluctant, vaguely embarrassed, somehow slightly accusatory manner. Immediately an NYU officer I hadn’t fully noticed said “oh, really” a bit loudly and walked quickly out of the room.”
13. Elton John is writing a musical based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
14. We can always have fun taking down overrated writers. I agree with Gabriel Josipovici about Philip Roth, but I’m a little peeved that Anis Shivani mocked the same exact William Vollmann quote that I mocked four years ago. Find your own quotes to mock, Shivani.
15. The Library of America has launched its own blog.
16. XKCD on language.