1. Buy the Lighthouse. The scenic spot that inspired Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse is for sale.
3. From Kenyon Review, Cody Walker on Paul Auster and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
4. Pulling Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain Off the Shelf (something I ought to do myself) by Maud Newton.
5. Harold Augenbraum has posted an enthusiastic appreciation of John O’Hara‘s 1956 National Book Award winning novel Ten North Frederick, which is, incredibly, out of print. This is part of a National Book Awards retrospective.
7. The South Carolina Post and Courier reveals that it maintains a book-reviewing policy from the 19th Century.
9. Wag’s Revue is a worthy new literary publication.
10. The Florida Review features poet Eamon Grennan.
11. From Narrative, James Salter on Isaac Babel.
12. Exit Vector is a new “wovel” by Simon Drax, presented by Underland Press.
13. And, one more time for postmodernism: here’s a fun and well-designed list from Jacket Copy of 61 classic postmodern books. But I must still complain that here, as in so many discussions of postmodernism, there is no real differentiation between modernism and postmodernism. For instance, one of the indicators on this list is that a work of fiction “disrupts/plays with form”. I’m pretty sure that’s a mark of modernism.
Still, you can learn a lot from this list. My favorite novels from the selection: Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine, Roberto Bolano’s 2666 (though I honestly haven’t read much of it yet), Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler, William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinth, Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis (though this is modern, not postmodern), Steven Milhauser’s Edwin Mulhouse, Tom McCarthy’s Remainder, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.
Some works that should be on the list but aren’t: Jack Kerouac’s On The Road (what could be more postmodern than Kerouac’s brew of Joycean free-writing and hipster/jazz slang?), Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, William Kotzwinkle’s The Fan Man, John Irving’s World According to Garp, Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm, Orhan Pamuk’s Snow. We should probably also find room for Salman Rushdie, Yukio Mishima, Ann Beattie, Raymond Carver … hell, I’d even throw Tao Lin in there. Jonathan Lethem? Whatever. And as much as I love Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, I have no idea what either of them are doing here. Just chilling with the postmodernists, I guess.