Thursdays, they are the worst. But here are some links to put a little bit of Friday in your Thursday. It’s raining Thursdays! Party in the U.S.Thursday!
The New York Observer just hired one of my favorite critics, Michael H. Miller. Read his profile of the great Lynne Tillman.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” But why be the metaphorical “boat” when you can actually ride one and kick that currents’ ass? This summer, old sport, take a Gatsby Boat Tour.
I love the Boston Review because they 1. always publish great work and 2. publish a lot of stuff by William Hogeland, who deserves infinitely more recognition than he’s getting right now. Seriously, read Hogeland’s piece about the Left’s inability to understand populism. Anyhow, the Boston Review just published an excellent essay by Jess Row, “The Novel is Not Dead Despite Critics’ Best Attempts“. “There are the forces of convention on one side, and innovation on the other, and the critic’s role is to dig a trench and lob grenades,” Row argues. This is provocative stuff, and, while I don’t buy a lot of his claims, it’s worth reading, interrogating, and arguing with. Like The Millions‘ Garth Risk Hallburg, I am skeptical of Row’s claim that it is “a safe bet that your average well-informed critic today has never read a single work of criticism by a writer of color” — if you think this is true, I would advise you to read the excellent criticism by our own Eric Jett. (Read Row’s Nothing Ever Gets Lost, by the way. I’m almost finished with it and I don’t know if I’ve ever read a collection of stories that is quite like it)
In case you didn’t hear, oldhead hero Phillip Roth won the Man Booker International Prize. His victory then kicked off one of the dumbest controversies in recent memory. Bookslut‘s Michael Schaub has the details, and is, as usual, dead-on:
“Booker judge Carmen Callil was so annoyed with the decision to honor Roth, she resigned from the judging panel.
“I don’t rate him as a writer at all. I made it clear that I wouldn’t have put him on the longlist, so I was amazed when he stayed there. He was the only one I didn’t admire – all the others were fine,” said Callil … “Roth goes to the core of [Booker judges Justin Cartwright and Rick Gekoski’s] beings. But he certainly doesn’t go to the core of mine … Emperor’s clothes: in 20 years’ time will anyone read him?”
The thing is, people are still reading Goodbye, Columbus, which Roth wrote over 50 years ago. So, yeah, I think his work will be around in 20 years. It doesn’t make any sense to ask if his work will stand the test of time when it already has.”
Splitsider has a great piece about the “importance of Stephen Colbert’s bold and subversive PAC.”
The Daily Mail has a gallery of stunning “colour” photographs from the Great Depression. Here is one of my “favourites:”
Here is an awesome flickr page of pictures of the devil. (via Pete Beatty)
If you were wondering what it looks like when Full Stop‘s editors get together, here is the answer:
Happy Thursday! Don’t get raptured, y’all.