Thursday Thoughts

1. This expressionist portrait of Joyce Carol Oates is one of many interpretations of modern authors by Swedish artist Carl Kohler, who died in 2006.

2. If you prefer cute to modern expressionist, here’s John Pupdike on Etsy.

3. Sarah Palin’s new memoir appears to be a hit, enraging many Americans who dislike her, but I think it’s time for many of us to lighten up about this clever charmer. Palin is clearly not qualified to be President — but then neither was George W. Bush and he actually got elected, whereas Sarah Palin does not seem interested in playing it safe and is really very unlikely to even get her party’s nomination in 2012. I strongly disagree with almost everything she stands for, but I think it’s a waste of effort for liberals to focus their anger on the one funny and brash big talker in the conservative gang, instead of on the countless bland mumbling nobodies selling similar platforms, like Mitt Romney, Joe Lieberman, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Dick Cheney.

I do thank God that John McCain and Sarah Palin did not win the last election, but I honestly believe that Sarah Palin was the less dangerous part of that ticket, if only because she appears to have no foreign policy agenda at all, unlike John “blood and guts” McCain, who wanted to be a war hero so bad he probably stormed the beaches at Normandy every night in his dreams.

Anyway, I do think a Jonathan Safran Foer vs. Sarah Palin cage match is great idea. And Tom Watson also semi-defends Sarah Palin here.

4. The American Library Association is looking for your essays about libraries.

5. Electric Literature will be tweeting a new work by Rick Moody. I have watched a few “tweeted novels” fly by, usually in disjointed reverse-chronological sentence fragments that repel any attempt at reading. Will these apparently clued-in folks find the formula that works? Hint: we write our tweets forward, but we read them backwards. Hint #2: if you’re tweeting a novel and you can’t make your sentences work at 140 characters or less, you’re really not tweeting a novel.

6. I like these classic British rock stamps a lot.

7. A robotic version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on the other hand, just creeps me out.

8. Despite being billed as “best writing tips ever”, Allen Ginsberg’s newly published writing tips aren’t quite as great as his friend Jack Kerouac’s. But they are pretty good.

9. Maud Newton is related to Pretty Boy Floyd.

10. Was Nietzsche pious? Maybe so, maybe so.

11. Frequent LitKicks contributor and Proust expert Mike Norris on being an ESL teacher in Paris.

12. Some good literary agents who are looking for new writers.

8 Responses

    The End of America should be required reading for every American. Rather than giving us a partisan 600-page tome on the crimes of the Bush administration, Naomi Wolf lays out clearly and concisely how we as a people have allowed our government to move perilously close to fascism and points the blame squarely where it belongs: at ourselves. Starting with the premise that it only takes ten changes to move a country from democracy to fascism, she points out the subtle, overlooked ways in which our government is making this happen. Wolf is the new Paul Revere, warning us that only we as citizens can stop the march toward an American fascist state. Anyone who reads this will realize that we are close to the end of real democracy in America, and if we don’t stand up and demand real change now, it will soon be far too late.
    I saw a presentation of hers online and have ordered her book.

  2. Mitt Romney is the most
    Mitt Romney is the most dangerous and the most likely to be the nominee.

  3. Levi,

    In response to your

    In response to your comments about Sarah Palin, I would say that, as if under gravitational pull, writing on the web, if done for long enough, eventually and irresistibly, leads the writer closer and closer to Time Magazine and further and further away from the ability to call a dumb ass a dumb ass.

    Fight this.

  4. Hmm, Alessandro, I figured
    Hmm, Alessandro, I figured I’d be misinterpreted here and I guess I was. My point isn’t that I don’t think Sarah Palin is a dumbass. My point is that there are critical issues being debated right now in the USA between liberals and conservatives — health care reform, job stimulus, the war in Afghanistan — and that there are conservative politicians less charismatic but more effective than Sarah Palin we should be paying attention to. I agree with Chart2000, for instance, that Mitt Romney is more dangerous than Sarah Palin. I’m asking liberals who take current issues seriously to stop taking the bait and keep their eyes on the real politics going on right now.

  5. Add Obama to the list of
    Add Obama to the list of non-qualified.

    I think if someone gets elected then by definition they are qualified.

    Glad to see not everyone is possessed by the anti-Palin psychosis I understand witch-burnings now having seen the absolute irrational hatred that is constantly thrown at her.

  6. Levi, I totally agree with
    Levi, I totally agree with you. I’m not really misinterpreting you, I’m just kind of teasing at your generally gentle nature. Poking it a little.

    Hey, I got a comment on my site last night from this amazingly good writer named Bill Ectric. I’m just blown away by his first three chapters of a book called ‘Tamper.’ Then I noticed that you’d done an interview with him. Good stuff.

    I’m going to buy his book today online and finish the thing. But those first three chapters are a bombshell.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!