Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

purdy2James Purdy, whose dark, often savagely comic fiction evoked a psychic American landscape of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence and isolation, died Friday in Englewood, N.J. He was 94 and lived in Brooklyn Heights. . . .

“Wayward and unclassifiable, Mr. Purdy, the author of the novels ‘Malcolm’ and ‘The Nephew,’ labored at the margins of the literary mainstream, inspiring veneration or disdain. His nearly 20 novels and numerous short stories and plays either enchanted or baffled critics with their gothic treatment of small-town innocents adrift in a corrupt and meaningless world, his distinctive blend of plain speech with ornate, florid locutions, and the hallucinatory quality of his often degraded scenes. . . .

“If Mr. Purdy made limited headway against what he called, in an autobiographical sketch, ‘the anesthetic, hypocritical, preppy and stagnant New York literary establishment,’ he was proclaimed ‘an authentic American genius’ by Gore Vidal and admired extravagantly by writers like Angus Wilson, John Cowper Powys and Edith Sitwell, who, reviewing the stories and short plays collected in ‘Children Is All’ (1962), wrote that Mr. Purdy would ‘come to be recognized as one of the greatest living writers of fiction in our language.’ (more @ NY Times)

RelatedWho is James Purdy? Edward Albee Tells

Read Full Post »

howlquartet“Artists from different disciplines have long been inspired by one another’s works, often with remarkable results. But both words and music suffer in Lee Hyla’s ‘Howl,’ a string quartet written in 1993 to accompany Allen Ginsberg’s 1956 poem of that name.

“A performance on Friday at Zankel Hall by the stellar Brentano String Quartet made me want to scream. The ensemble — Mark Steinberg and Serena Canin, violinists; Misha Amory, violist; and Nina Lee, cellist — played Mr. Hyla’s work against a recording of Ginsberg reading his colorful rant at the status quo, a major work of the Beat Generation.

“A poem as long and as dense as ‘Howl’ — whose myriad vivid images are crammed into long run-on sentences — is ill suited for simultaneous musical accompaniment. Music and words seem engaged here in a cacophonous battle with no clear victor.” (more @ NY Times)

Read Full Post »

DubaiPoetry“The words of the late Palestinian poet and author Mahmoud Darwish echoed in a packed hall yesterday at the launch of the first annual Dubai International Poetry Festival.

“The festival was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in the presence of more than 100 regional and international poets and writers from 45 countries.

“Jamal Khalfan bin Huwaireb, head of the festival’s organising committee, said in his keynote address that the aim of the festival was to create an opportunity for poets from around the globe to meet. . . .

“‘Poetry is among the most evolved of the arts and the strongest bridge between cultures. We believe that poetry can correct what politics has damaged,’ said Mr bin Huwaireb.” (more @ The National)

Related

Read Full Post »

kerouacradioJack Kerouac, author of “On the Road” and progenitor of the Beat Generation as well as subsequent generations of literary dreamers, was born on this date in 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He died in 1969 at age 47.

Gilbert Millstein’s 1957 New York Times review of “On the Road,” which Dwight Garner called “probably the most famous book review in the history of [the] newspaper,” can be found here.

The following excerpt from “On the Road” describes Sal Paradise’s (Kerouac’s) first attempt at traveling west alone:

I’d been poring over maps of the United States in Paterson for months, even reading books about the pioneers and savoring names like Platte and Cimarron and so on, and on the road-map was one long red line called Route 6 that led from the tip of Cape Cod clear to Ely, Nevada, and there dipped down to Los Angeles. I’ll just stay on all the way to Ely, I said to myself and confidently started. To get to 6 I had to go up to Bear Mountain. Filled with dreams of what I’d do in Chicago, in Denver, and then finally in San Fran, I took the Seventh Avenue Subway to the end of the line at 242nd Street, and there took a trolley into Yonkers; in downtown Yonkers I transferred to an outgoing trolley and went to the city limits on the east bank of the Hudson River. If you drop a rose in the Hudson River at its mysterious source in the Adirondacks, think of all the places it journeys as it goes to sea forever — think of that wonderful Hudson Valley. I started hitching up the thing. Five scattered rides took me to the desired Bear Mountain Bridge, where Route 6 arched in from New England. It began to rain in torrents when I was let off there. It was mountainous. Route 6 came over the river, wound around a traffic circle, and disappeared into the wilderness. Not only was there no traffic but the rain come down in buckets and I had no shelter. I had to run under some pines to take cover; this did no good; I began crying and swearing and socking myself on the head for being such a damn fool. I was forty miles north of New York; all the way up I’d been worried about the fact that on this, my big opening day, I was only moving north instead of the so-longed for west. Now I was stuck on my northermost hangup. I ran a quarter-mile to an abandoned cute English-style filling station and stood under the dripping eaves. High up over my head the great hairy Bear Mountain sent down thunderclaps that put the fear of God in me. All I could see were smoky trees and dismal wilderness rising to the skies. “What the hell am I doing up here?” I cursed, I cried for Chicago. “Even now they’re all having a big time, they’re doing this, I’m not there, when will I get there!” — and so on. Finally a car stopped at the empty filling station; the man and the two women in it wanted to study a map. I stepped right up and gestured in the rain; they consulted; I looked like a maniac, of course, with my hair all wet, my shoes sopping. My shoes, damn fool that I am, were Mexican huaraches, plantlike sieves not fit for the rainly night of America and the raw road night. But the people let me in and rode me back to Newburgh, which I accepted as a better alternative than being trapped in the Bear Mountain wilderness all night. “Besides,” said the man, “there’s no traffic passes through 6. If you want to go to Chicago you’d be better going across the Holland Tunnel in New York and head for Pittsburth,” and I knew he was right. It was my dream that screwed up, the stupid hearthside idea that it would be wonderful to follow one great red line across America instead of trying various roads and routes.

In Newburgh it had stopped raining. I walked down to the river and I had to ride back to New York in a bus with a delegation of schoolteachers coming back from a weekend in the mountains — chatter chatter blah-blah, and me swearing for all the time and money I’d wasted, and telling myself, I wanted to go west and here I’d been all day and into the night going up and down, north and south, like something that can’t get started. (via Literary Kicks)

Kerouac’s explanation of his “spontaneous prose” writing method can be found here.

Video and audio clips from Kerouac readings, as well as rare tapes of Kerouac and Neal Cassady, can be found here. More can be found here and here and here.

A video documentary, Jack Kerouac – King of the Beats, can be viewed here.

Related

Read Full Post »

niffenegger“Six years after the publication of her blockbuster best-selling novel, ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife,’ Audrey Niffenegger has sold a new manuscript for close to $5 million, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations. It is an especially significant sum at a time of retrenchment and economic uncertainty in the publishing world.

“After a fiercely contested auction, Scribner, a unit of Simon & Schuster, bought the rights to publish the new novel, ‘Her Fearful Symmetry,’ in the United States this fall. The book is a supernatural story about twins who inherit an apartment near a London cemetery and become embroiled in the lives of the building’s other residents and the ghost of their aunt, who left them the flat. . . .

“‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ is set to go on sale at the end of September, and will coincide with the British publication by Jonathan Cape this fall. The film adaptation of ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife,’ directed by Robert Schwentke and starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, is scheduled for a February release.” (more @ NY Times)

RelatedCape confirms Niffenegger deal

Read Full Post »

bolanosmall“Two new novels by the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño have reportedly been found in Spain among papers he left behind after his death. The previously unseen manuscripts were entitled Diorama and The Troubles of the Real Police Officer, reported La Vanguardia.

“The newspaper said the documents also included what is believed to be a sixth section of Bolaño’s epic five-part novel 2666. . . .

“It follows the discovery of another novel, entitled The Third Reich, which was shown to publishers at the Frankfurt book fair in October. . . .

“The writer, who spent the last part of his life in the Costa Brava region of Spain, died at the age of 50 in 2003.

“Uncompromising in his style and critical of authors who sold out to the market, he did not publish a novel until he was 43. He supported himself by, among other things, working as a security guard at a campsite and selling cheap jewellery to tourists visiting the Costa Brava. . . .

“Bolaño published his first novel in 1993 and posthumously grew in popularity after 2666 was translated into English and was one of the New York Times‘s top 10 books of 2008. His novel The Savage Detectives appeared on the same list the previous year.” (more @ The Guardian)

Related

UpdateChilean Bolano Posthumously Wins Book Critics Circle Award

Read Full Post »

shakespearebooksIn The Guardian, Jeanette Winterson, after a recent visit, recounts a bit of the history of Shakespeare and Company, Paris’ renowned Left Bank bookstore, first opened in 1913 and since 1962 owned by George Whitman. No visit to Paris is complete without a visit to this venerable literary institution which always recalls for me New York’s recently closed literary landmark, Gotham Book Mart 

“Way back, in 1913, the original Shakespeare and Company was opened by a young American called Sylvia Beach. Her shop in rue de l’Odéon soon became the place for all the English-speaking writers in Paris. Her lover, Adrienne Monnier, owned the French bookstore across the road, and she and Beach ran back and forth, finding penniless writers a place to stay, lending them books, arranging loans, taking their mail, sending their work to small magazines and, most spectacularly, publishing James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1922 when no one else would touch it.

“Hemingway was a regular at the shop, and writes about it in his memoir A Moveable Feast. . . . It was Hemingway, as a major in the US army, who at the liberation of Paris in 1945 drove his tank straight to the shuttered Shakespeare and Company and personally liberated Sylvia Beach. ‘No one that I ever knew was nicer to me,’ he said later, rich, famous and with a Nobel prize.

“But after the war, Beach was older and tired. She didn’t reopen the shop that had been forced into closure by the occupation. It was George Whitman who took over the spirit of what she had made, but not the name – until 1962, when Beach attended a reading by Lawrence Durrell at the bookstore and they all agreed that it should be renamed Shakespeare and Company.

“George took in the beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. Henry Miller ate from the stewpot, but was too grand to sleep in the tiny writers’ room. Anaïs Nin left her will under George’s bed. There are signed photos from Rudolf Nureyev and Jackie Kennedy, signed copies of Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.” (via Books, Inq.)

A New York Times article offering a brief history of Gotham Book Mart can be found here:

PHOTO: A December 1948 party at for Osbert and Edith Sitwell (seated, center) drew a roomful of bright lights to the Gotham Book Mart: clockwise from W. H. Auden, on the ladder at top right, were Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarrell, Charles Henri Ford (cross-legged, on the floor), William Rose Benét, Stephen Spender, Marya Zaturenska, Horace Gregory, Tennessee Williams, Richard Eberhart, Gore Vidal and José Garcia Villa. (Photo: Gotham Book Mart)

RelatedThe Gotham Book Mart’s Final Chapter?

Read Full Post »

“It opened nearly three years ago at an army drill hall in Edinburgh and has toured the world from New York to Sydney. But the play Black Watch only reached London last year – allowing it entry to the UK’s most prestigious theatre awards. Last night it walked away with four.

“The National Theatre of Scotland‘s story of the now amalgamated regiment came away with the most Olivier awards for an individual production, including best new play and, for John Tiffany, best director. . . . An unforgettable play based on interviews with soldiers who served in Iraq, it also won for sound design and choreography.” (more @ The Guardian)

A complete list of 2009 Olivier Award winners can be found here.

The New York Times review from the first of Black Watch‘s two runs at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn (2007) can be found here.

Related

[As much as I admire Black Watch — which I saw during both of its New York runs — I was disappointed that Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County, which I also attended twice, and which won both the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, did not win the Olivier best new play award. My sense is that the war-tested Scottish regiment enjoyed a bit of a home field advantage in London over Letts’s dysfunctional and hard-drinking Oklahoma family.]

Read Full Post »

PD*27420284“Professor Stanley Wells, Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespearean studies, today announced the discovery of a portrait of William Shakespeare, which he believes is almost certainly the only authentic image of Shakespeare made from life.

“The newly discovered picture has descended for centuries in the same family, the Cobbes. It hung in their Irish home, under another identification, until the 1980s, when it was inherited by Alec Cobbe who was a co-heir of the Cobbe estate and whose heirlooms were transferred into a trust. In 2006 Alec Cobbe visited the National Portrait Gallery exhibition ‘Searching for Shakespeare’ where he saw a painting that now hangs in the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington. It had been accepted as a life portrait of Shakespeare until some 70 years ago, but fell from grace when it was found to have been altered. Mr Cobbe immediately realised that this was a copy of the painting in his family collection. . . .

“Up to now only two images have been accepted as authentic representations of what Shakespeare may have looked like. One is the engraving by Martin Droeshout published in the First Folio of 1623. The other is the portrait bust in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon; the monument is mentioned in the Folio and therefore must have been in place by 1623. Both are posthumous – Shakespeare died in 1616. The engraver, who was only in his teens when Shakespeare died, must have had a picture, until now unidentified, to work from. Professor Wells believes it to be the one he has revealed today and that it was done from life, in about 1610, when he was 46 years old.” 

The portrait will be on exhibit at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon beginning April 23 (which may be both the anniversary of his birth in 1564 and of his death in 1616). (via NY Times)

A video report on the painting’s discovery was featured on the CBS News “Early Show” and can be found here.

Related

UpdateShakespeare Unfound(ed)?

Read Full Post »

marktwain“Almost 99 years after his death on April 21, 1910, Mark Twain will publish a new short story next week in the pages of the quarterly mystery magazine the Strand.

“Discovered in Twain’s archive — reportedly the largest collection of personal papers left behind by a 19th century American author — the never-before-published ‘The Undertaker’s Tale’ is a short tale-within-a-tale about a wretched homeless boy who is taken in by a kindly undertaker’s family. . . .

“‘The Undertaker’s Story’ will be part of a new book, ‘Who Is Mark Twain?,’ that is due out next month. It’s the first collection of his unpublished short works and will include 24 stories and essays.” (via LA Times)

Read Full Post »

books“In Woody Allen’s clever 1983 mockumentary ‘Zelig,’ the title character lies about having read ‘Moby-Dick’ so he can fit in with the crowd – kicking off a career as a face-changing human chameleon.

“Turns out there are a lot of Zeligs around: a recent survey found that more than two-thirds of respondents admitted to lying about having read classic books, with George Orwell’s ‘1984’ topping the fib list.

“The survey of more than 1,300 readers by the UK-based organizers of World Book Day, placed Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ and James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ at Nos. 2 and 3 of the book that inspired the most lies.

“Breaking at least one commandment, 24 percent of those surveyed said they had lied about reading The Bible, which placed No 4. People didn’t only pretend to read old-time tomes: President Obama’s ‘Dreams from My Father’ made the list, at No. 9.” (more @ NBC New York)

Read Full Post »

colognes-historical-archi-001

“For the best part of a decade, the heirs of German writer and Nobel prize laureate Heinrich Böll worked on hammering out a deal with the city of Cologne over the transfer of his private papers to the state archives.

“Three weeks ago, city officials held a special ceremony to mark the historic handover: for €800,000 (£712,000), the Cologne archives took possession of hundreds of boxes containing items ranging from Böll’s school reports to scripts of his radio plays, novels and essays by Germany’s most popular post-second world war writer, who died in 1985 at the age of 67.

“But his papers and unpublished works may have been lost for ever after the collapse of the archives building this week. . . .

“The Böll documents are just a small part of the losses to the archives which contained almost 30km of files, including articles written by Karl Marx, letters by Georg Hegel, writings by composer Jacques Offenbach and edicts issued by Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as the minutes of city council meetings going back to 1376, which offer a fascinating portrait of medieval Cologne.” (more @ The Guardian)

A video of the post collapse excavations can be viewed here. (via Books, Inq.)

Read Full Post »

mcewanFrom Daniel Zalewski’s admiring essay on Ian McEwan, “England’s national author”:

“McEwan is a connoisseur of dread, performing the literary equivalent of turning on the tub faucet and leaving the room; the flood is foreseeable, but it still shocks when the water rushes over the edge. That’s how it is with the hounds that descend upon a woman in the 1992 novel ‘Black Dogs’; the orgiastic murder in the 1981 novel ‘The Comfort of Strangers’; the botched sexual initiation in ‘On Chesil Beach.’ At moments of peak intensity, McEwan slows time down—a form of torture that readers enjoy despite themselves. In ‘The Child in Time,’ from 1987, a man’s little girl is kidnapped at the supermarket, and his rising panic is charted with the merciless precision of a cardiogram. In ‘The Innocent,’ a 1990 tale of espionage in postwar Berlin, McEwan spends eight pages conjuring a corpse’s dismemberment. And ‘Saturday’ keeps the reader jangled for nearly forty pages, wondering along with Perowne if an airplane descending on London has become a terrorist missile. Martin Amis says, ‘Ian’s terribly good at stressed states. There’s a bit of Conrad that reminds me of Ian. It’s ‘Typhoon,’ when the captain is heading into this terrible storm and Conrad is in the position of first mate. Going into the captain’s cabin, he notices that the ship is yawing so that the captain’s shoes are rolling this way and that across the floor, like two puppies playing with each other. You think, Wow, to keep your eyes open when most people would be closing theirs. Ian has that. He’s unflinching.’

“Page-turning excitement has long been a suspect virtue in a literary novel, and some critics have disparaged McEwan as a hack with elegant prose. He does lean on noirish tropes—the climaxes of ‘Enduring Love’ and ‘Saturday’ both involve a deranged man, a trembling woman, and a knife. But McEwan believes that something stirring should happen in a novel. Though he is animated by ideas, he would never plop two characters on a sofa and have them expound rival philosophies. The opening to ‘Enduring Love’ offers a crisp illustration of game theory: when a balloon becomes untethered, each of the five men holding a rope is forced to make a decision without knowing what the others will do. But most readers enjoy it as a thrilling set piece. On our walk, McEwan twice cited Henry James’s dictum that the only obligation of a novel ‘is that it be interesting.’ Later, McEwan declared that he finds ‘most novels incredibly boring. It’s amazing how the form endures. Not being boring is quite a challenge.'” (more @ The New Yorker)

RelatedJames Wood writes about the manipulations of Ian McEwan

[McEwan’s essay “On John Updike” in The New York Review of Books, in which he describes Updike as having been as “troubled by science as others are troubled by God,” can be found here.]

Read Full Post »

tobias_wolffOn Wednesday night, shortly after reading from his well-known story ‘Bullet in the Brain,’ Tobias Wolff was called back to the stage of the New School’s Tishman Auditorium to accept The Story Prize. The other two finalists were Jhumpa Lahiri’s best-selling Unaccustomed Earth (Knopf) and Joe Meno’s Demons in the Spring (Akashic Books). . . . The $20,000 award Wolff received, in addition to an engraved silver bowl, is the largest first-prize amount of any annual U.S. book award for fiction.” (via Reuters)

RelatedWhat Wolff knows

Read Full Post »

PD*5068633Edgar Allan Poe apologizes to his publishers for drinking too much and asks them to buy an article because he’s ‘desperately pushed for money’ in an 1842 letter acquired by the University of Virginia for an exhibition marking the author’s 200th birthday. . . .

“‘Will you be so kind enough to put the best possible interpretation upon my behaviour while in N-York?,’ Poe asks New York publishers J. and Henry G. Langley. ‘You must have conceived a queer idea of me — but the simple truth is that Wallace would insist upon the juleps, and I knew not what I was either doing or saying.’ . . .

“The U.Va. Library released the letter this week ahead of an exhibit opening Saturday that highlights Poe’s enduring literary works, brief life and mysterious death at the age of 40. Poe attended the Charlottesville university, but had to drop out after less than a year in part because of financial difficulties, which plagued him the rest of his life.” (via Associated Press)

Read Full Post »

nea“Unemployment rates are up among working artists and the artist workforce has contracted, according to new research from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Artists in a Year of Recession: Impact on Jobs in 2008 examines how the economic slowdown has affected the nation’s working artists.  The study looks at artist employment patterns during two spikes in the current recession – the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2008.  This downturn reflects larger economic declines: a Commerce Department report last week noted a 6.2 percent decrease in the gross domestic product in the last quarter of 2008.

“Among the findings:

  • Artists are unemployed at twice the rate of professional workers
  • Unemployment rates for artists have risen more rapidly than for U.S. workers as a whole
  • Artist unemployment rates would be even higher if not for the large number of artists leaving the workforce
  • Unemployment rose for most types of artist occupations
  • The job market for artists is unlikely to improve until long after the U.S. economy starts to recover” (via mediabistro)

Read Full Post »

05foote-480Horton Foote, who chronicled a wistful American odyssey through the 20th century in plays and films mostly set in a small town in Texas and who left a literary legacy as one of the country’s foremost storytellers, died on Wednesday in Hartford. He was 92 and lived in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and Wharton, Tex.

“Mr. Foote died after a brief illness, his daughter Hallie Foote said. He had recently been living in Hartford while adapting his nine-play “Orphans’ Home Cycle” into a three-part production that will be staged next fall at the Hartford Stage Company and the Signature Theater in New York. In a body of work for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and two Academy Awards, Mr. Foote was known as a writer’s writer, an author who never abandoned his vision even when Broadway and Hollywood temporarily turned their backs on him.

“In screenplays for movies like “Tender Mercies,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Trip to Bountiful,” and in plays like “The Young Man From Atlanta” and “The Carpetbagger’s Children,” Mr. Foote depicted the way ordinary people shoulder the ordinary burdens of life, finding drama in the resilience by which they carry on in the face of change, economic hardship, disappointment, loss and death.” (more @ NY Times)

Read Full Post »

kerouacJack Kerouac‘s ‘lost’ novel The Sea is My Brother, which he wrote during his years as a merchant seaman, is to be published in its entirety for the first time.

“Described by Kerouac as being about ‘man’s simple revolt from society as it is, with the inequalities, frustration, and self-inflicted agonies,’ the 158-page handwritten manuscript was Kerouac’s first novel, but was not published during his lifetime. He wrote in his notes for the project that the characters were ‘the vanishing American, the big free by, the American Indian, the last of the pioneers, the last of the hoboes.’

“The novel follows the fortunes of Wesley Martin, a man who Kerouac said ‘loved the sea with a strange, lonely love; the sea is his brother and sentences. He goes down.’ By contrast another sailor, Kerouac continued, ‘escapes society for the sea, but finds the sea a place of terrible loneliness.'” (via The Guardian)

Read Full Post »

dollhouse

Mabou Mines’ Dollhouse, which first opened in late 2003 at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, returned to St. Ann’s last month after five years of touring the world, for what is likely the final staging of the celebrated adaptation of Ibsen’s “protofeminist” classic, A Doll’s House. This exhilarating, bawdy and broadly comic production, in which the male actors are all “little people,” standing between 40 and 53 inches tall, and the women are all nearly 6 feet tall, closes next Sunday, March 8th.

An interview with Mabou Mines co-founder and Dollhouse director Lee Breuer can be found here.

A slideshow of images from the current run can be found here; or watch the promotional video –

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The original New York Times review from 2003 can be found here.

Read Full Post »

david_foster_wallaceThe author David Foster Wallace, best known for his novel “Infinite Jest,” “a vast investigation into America as the land of addictions: to television, to drugs, to loneliness,” committed suicide on September 12, 2008 at the age of 46. Wallace, who suffered from depression for more than twenty years, struggled for more than a decade with his unfinished third novel, “The Pale King,” which he hoped would surpass “Infinite Jest.”

In the March 9th issue of The New Yorker, D.T. Max writes about Wallace’s twin struggles:

Although “depression,” writes Max, “often figured in his work,” Wallace “never published a word about his own mental illness.”

As to the public display of grief over Wallace’s death, it was “connected to a feeling that, for all his outpouring of words, he died with his work incomplete. Wallace, at least, never felt that he had hit his target. His goal had been to show readers how to live a fulfilled, meaningful life. ‘Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being,’ he once said. Good writing should help readers to ‘become less alone inside.'”

“From 1997 on, Wallace worked on a third novel, which he never finished—the ‘Long Thing,’ as he referred to it . . . His drafts, which his wife found in their garage after his death, amount to several hundred thousand words, and tell of a group of employees at an Internal Revenue Service center in Illinois, and how they deal with the tediousness of their work.” (more @ The New Yorker

An excerpt from Wallace’s unfinished novel can be found here.

The partial manuscript will be published next year by Little, Brown.

RelatedFor David Foster Wallace’s survivors, a paper puzzle (via LA Times)

[In 1999, Amherst [College] magazine writer Stacey Schmeidel interviewed Wallace by mail. The feature-length Q & A, titled “Brief Interview With a Five Draft Man,” ran in the Spring 1999 issue of the magazine, and is reprinted here.]

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »