Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
James Wood's finger drumming, analyzed by Alex Rose for Opium Magazine.
I had the pleasure of seeing Wood lecture at Columbia in a very crowded seminar room just a few weeks ago. Everyone held her breath while he talked. If only they'd seen him drum!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sorry to hear that Peter Kaplan is stepping down from The New York Observer. I liked him enormously when he lectured last summer at the CPC. Hope the paper will survive without his guidance.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Image via ThomasMoronic.
I had with me a copy of Le Rouge et le noir. He riffled the pages. Do you like this?
Yes. I read it first in Arabic. Now I'm rereading it in French. And I added: Julien's family life is like my own in some ways. One thing in particular is almost identical: Monsieur Sorel bound out his son Julien to the mayor of the town for three hundred francs a year, and my father rented me for thirty pesetas a month to a hashish-smoker who ran a cafe in the quarter of Ain Khabbaz where we lived in Tetuan.
I see your trouble. And you're not the only one. You'll never find beauty in literature that way. You shouldn't read with that sort of thing in mind, with the idea that the life of one or another protagonist has something to do with your own life. You have to keep things separate. Your life is nobody else's life.
-Jean Genet in Tangier by Mohamed Choukri, translated by Paul Bowles (page 7)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
WHY did I start working in the bookstore? When I discovered the bookstore, in my early 20's, it was the sole (it seems to me now) haven from the terrors of trying to figure out how to live and be a grownup—life was hard and scary, expensive and confusing, and I seemed to find myself in one situation after another that I'd thought I wanted but didn't really suit me at all…the bookstore was simply the one place that felt calm and sane, peaceful and welcoming. I applied for the weekend job on a whim, got it, and just never left. Whenever other opportunities would come up I'd find that if I was honest, I'd really rather live in the world of the bookstore, and so although it sometimes seemed irresponsible (or at least quixotic) I just stayed and stayed—moving into positions of increasing authority seemed to happen naturally. And now I own it!
Interview on Bookslut with the owner of the Park Slope Community Bookstore (one of my favorite bookstores in the world), Catherine Bohne. (via Three Percent)
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Judith Freeman on the 50th anniversary of Raymond Chandler's death:
Chandler understood how loneliness would become our new modern disease, the condition of a whole culture. It’s the source of much of the controlled, half-poetical emotion that lies at the heart of Marlowe and of every Chandler story.