Behold the polymathic mind of Terry Castle, professor, literary essayist, and collage artist. At Fevered Brain Productions, her art blog, see digitally alter photos and collages like “Warthog Proffering Rootbeer,” “She Polarizes People,” “Collage Dramas”, and “Kind Hearts and Coronets.” And from the LRB archives, check out her controversial quasi-eulogy for Susan Sontag, her reviews (for example, Always the Bridesmaid on Yopie Prins‘ Victorian Sappho), and her essays (Travels With My Mom). The Professor, Castle’s forthcoming book of essays, will be published by HarperCollins in January.
“Biography, even those of intellectual figures, assumes a general reader, a reader who does not understand or want to understand the ideas of its subject. The biography of a philosopher magnifies this approach, turning its attention simply to the ‘significant events’ in the life of the philosopher.” Derrida: the impossible biography?
Have novels about love lost their gravitas as women’s liberation and divorce culture have taken over? Adelle Waldman doesn’t think so. In The New Yorker, she defends the timelessness of the marriage plot. “As long as marriage and love and relationships have high stakes for us emotionally, they have the potential to offer rich subject material for novelists, no matter how flimsy or comparatively uninteresting contemporary relationships seem on their surface.” Pair with: Our Jeffrey Eugenides essay on writing The Marriage Plot, which is referenced several times in Waldman’s essay.
“Certain words have gone from being shocking to being neutered,” says Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive, who has embraced the printing of “vulgar words” on her magazine’s cover since November of 2011. Ms. Leive is one of several women’s magazine editors who believe “magazines are catching up with other media, where women have been using explicit language for years.”
Isotropic Films has begun filming a “fresh, modern horror [film] version” of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. At The New York Review of Books, Mark Harman offers a new translation of the late author’s “A Message From the Emperor,” which Harman calls “hauntingly oblique.” Further away still, Elif Batuman recognizes some Kafkaesque street signage in Turkey.