Back to the Circlejerk

  • Scott Esposito has initiated The Quarterly Conversation, a collection of reviews, thoughts and interviews that Mr. Esposito plans to serve up every quarter.
  • A fifteen year old girl has received the Bungei Award, making her the youngest winner or this Japanese award for newcomers. Her identity has been kept secret, presumably to ward off the depraved hentai enthusiasts.
  • The Globe and Mail chats with Doug Coupland. Now he seems to be getting inspiration from the likes of B.S. Johnson (or perhaps something substance-based): “You take the book, and you remove the pages and soak them in a Tupperware container and then you chew the pages one at a time. I always did it when I was watching TV.” Some folks call this snacking. Others might call it self-indulgent navel-gazing. Coupland calls it novel-writing.
  • The New York Times, about as desperate for readers these days as a parched refugee waiting for FEMA, will add comics and other doodads to its Sunday magazine. Of course, since it involves Chris Ware, it can’t be completely discounted. But the real question is whether this means the end for Deborah Solomon and Randy Cohen?
  • Most predictable literary news of the week: “Brando’s pulp fiction wallow goes overboard.” You don’t say?
  • Pope John Paul II wrote a one-act play called “The Silversmith’s Shop.” Apparently, it will be staged in October. The play was written when the late Pope was known as the Bishop of Krakow and concludes that “Love is no adventure. It has its own specific burden.” Perhaps the late Pope’s rather adventureless approach to love might be one of the reasons he got into the Catholic racket.
  • Richard Ford and Anne Rice on losing New Orleans.
  • Orhan Pamuk faces a potential three years in jail for “publicly denigrating Turkish identity” — in other words, daring to tell the truth about the 1915 Armenian massacre.
  • An update on Zoe Heller.
  • Salman Rushdie has declared celebrity a curse. Offering proof, Mr. Rushdie pointed to a person following him with a small Rushdie effigy and several pins.

One Comment

  1. The sad thing is that Brando’s tripe is already on the shelf at my library, but Ander Monson’s debut isn’t. Priorities.

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