1. Japanese search parties have found the remains of poet and volcano enthusiast Craig Arnold, who had been running a blog called The Volcano Pilgrim. Jacket Copy’s piece on Craig’s death is the best of many I’ve read.
Nobody needs to wonder why a poet would love volcanoes; the metaphorical appeal is obvious. The word “volcano” is itself literary, evoking the Roman god Vulcan (the Greek god Hephaestus). Then there’s Malcolm Lowry, and Susan Sontag, and let’s not forget that the San Francisco beatniks hung out in a North Beach bar called Vesuvio.
Some might disagree with me, but I don’t think it’s exactly tragic when a poet who passionately loves volcanoes dies exploring a volcano. It’s tragic if a poet who loves volcanoes dies of cancer, or catches a stray bullet during a liquor store robbery, or kills himself in a moment of desperate depression. For a poet to die in courageous pursuit of his greatest dream and fascination does not seem tragic in the same way.
(The homemade volcano photo above was found here).
2. Las Vegas Sun maps the Seven Deadly Sins to the states and counties of USA.
3. Keith Gessen gets himself into trouble reporting on an election in Russia.
4. “While the publishing industry chases the new, the young, the instantly commercial, readers are often looking for something else — for a kind of enduring quality.” Agreed. Reissed jazz-age classics from Bloomsbury.
5. Wyatt Mason invokes Emerson.
7. 25 Microchips that shook the world.
8. To embarrass is to block, to em-bar.
9. How George Orwell was feeling (hint: not good) while he wrote 1984.
11. Why does everything Bret Easton Ellis writes get turned into a movie?
12. Anne Waldman on why chapbooks matter.
13. Carly Kocurek, a smart young writer from Texas who used to contribute to LitKicks as “violet9ish”, is one of the authors represented in Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket by Elizabeth Englehardt.