Curiosities

Romeo and Juliet Redux

Considering the sheer volume of references in the cultural air, you probably believe you have a pretty good grasp of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. To this I say, hold up there, Straw Man Reader -- Ye Olde Romance That Could has more to it than you think.
Curiosities

Tuesday New Release Day: Eggers, Dubus, Freeman, Boyd, Zoller-Seitz

New this week: The Circle by Dave Eggers; Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III; How to Read a Novelist by former Granta editor John Freeman; Solo, a new James Bond novel by William Boyd; and “the first in-depth overview of Wes Anderson’s filmography” by the New York Magazine TV critic Matt Zoller-Seitz.
Curiosities

Meditations on Meditations in Green

Recommended Reading: Nathaniel Rich discusses Stephen Wright’s Meditations in Green, which he says is remarkable because “it convinces you that the war never ended.” Indeed, Rich writes, the author’s debut novel “suggests that Vietnam at some point transcended the Indochina peninsula and became a mental condition, a state of being not unlike certain forms of insanity, that has become encrypted in our genetic code.”
Curiosities

Kerouac Returns to the Big Screen

This November, moviegoers can catch an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur (trailer here). Do you think it looks better than last year’s cinematic version of On the Road (trailer here)?
Curiosities

That’s a Mouthful

A Hawaiian woman named Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has won her battle against the state’s government computer systems and will now be able to fit her name – all 36 letters and 19 syllables of it – onto her driver’s license and ID card. Previously she’d been using a truncated version on her official documentation.
Curiosities

Matt Kish on his Heart of Darkness Illustrations

In November, Matt Kish will write a series of guest posts for Tin House’s Open Bar Blog. He’ll be “exploring some of the ideas and processes behind five of [his] Heart of Darkness illustrations.” Over on his personal blog, however, he’s asking for readers to help him select which five pieces he should discuss. Kish, who has previously illustrated the pages of Moby Dick, was recently mentioned in our Great Second-Half 2013 Book Preview.
Curiosities

Two Trailers from Two Dollar Radio Moving Pictures

Recently I reported on the launch of Two Dollar Radio Moving Pictures, a cinematic venture from the indie publishers in Ohio. Since then, a pair of teaser trailers have been released for the first films in the organization’s pipeline. One is for The Greenbrier Ghost, which was co-written by Crapalachia author Scott McClanahan. The second is for The Removals, and it was directed by Orange Eats Creeps author Grace Krilanovich. (A few years back I gave TOEC some love in my Year In Reading post.)
Curiosities

“These gentlemen simply had too many dreams in common.”

Recommended Reading: Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned author Wells Tower journeyed to Tupelo, Mississippi in order to investigate the man who mailed ricin to Barack Obama.
Curiosities

It Certainly Beats the Overlook

Now this is the kind of fellowship an author can really get behind: The Standard, East Village, has teamed up with The Paris Review to offer a free hotel room to a writer in need of “three weeks of solitude in downtown New York City.” The deadline for applications is November 1. And in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes. Of course the fellowship will conclude with a swank cocktail party.
Curiosities

Evelyn Waugh’s Brother Invented the Cocktail Party

“Unable to replicate the success of his first novel [The Loom of Youth],” writes Philip Quarles, “[Alec Waugh] did create a lasting impact by being credited with inventing the cocktail party when he shocked guests by serving, instead of afternoon tea, rum swizzles.”