Bad sex in fiction! Here are your excerpts from Literary Review‘s annual contest.
“One of the things I like about my job is that it draws on the entire person: not just your knowledge of grammar and punctuation and usage and foreign languages and literature but also your experience of travel, gardening, shipping, singing, plumbing, Catholicism, Midwesternism, mozzarella, the A train, New Jersey. And in turn it feeds you more experience. The popular image of the copy editor is of someone who favors rigid consistency. I don’t usually think of myself that way. But, when pressed, I do find I have strong views about commas.” Mary Norris‘s “Confessions of a Comma Queen,” from the New Yorker.
I’ve recommended a couple of articles in recent weeks about the new novel by John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. Unfortunately, as Liam O’Brien explains at the Melville House blog, it may not be a good idea to read it, especially if you’re impressionable. Why? The book contains a hidden trove of Satanic messages. (h/t The Rumpus)
“I realize that, like most fantasies, reality is likely to be more complicated. For starters, literary communities—like most communities—have echelons. They have cliques; they have ghettos. You are the wrong age, work in the wrong genre, don’t know the right people, don’t teach at the same program … Anyone who thinks this isn’t true is someone squarely at the center of his or her chosen circle.” On peripherality and the uncertain nature of literary community.
In the early ‘70s, Kurt Vonnegut helped produce a TV adaptation of his work, Between Time and Timbuktu, that aired on the public TV program NET Playhouse. The adaptation brought together elements from several of the author’s most famous works, including Sirens of Titan, Cat’s Cradle and “Harrison Bergeron.” At Black Balloon Publishing’s blog, you can find YouTube clips and links to the printed script. (Related: our own Lydia Kiesling read Vonnegut’s Letters.) (h/t The Rumpus)
New Directions announced they will publish Irish author Keith Ridgway’s novel, Hawthorn & Child, which was originally published by Granta books in 2012. Look out for the book this September. As a way to entice prospective readers, Tom Roberge does not mince words. “This is absolutely a New Directions book, and we think those of you who’ve fallen in love with Javier Marías or Roberto Bolaño or László Krasznahorkai as much as we did will agree,” Roberge writes.
“‘All of these things happened to me with keys,’ she says. ‘It was as if the keys were saying, “Don’t talk about us.” It was as if they didn’t like it.’” Year in Reading alum Helen Oyeyemi discusses her fascination with keys and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours at NPR. For writing from the author, check out her piece on Silvina Ocampo’s Thus Were Their Faces.