Horacio Castellanos Moya, the author of Senselessness [review], again tackles the commodification of Roberto Bolaño, this time in a lengthy piece in Guernica. “It’s the landlords of the market,” he writes, “who decide the mambo that you dance.”
Attention! 3 Quarks Daily has announced its 4th annual prize for arts and literature online writing, to be judged by novelist Mohsin Hamid. Articles from The Millions writers have won before (a piece from Lydia Kiesling in 2010 and another from Edan Lepucki in 2011) and we’d love to keep that tradition going. Nominations can be posted in the comments of the announcement, so please recommend any Millions writing you have enjoyed since March of last year. And to all of our guest contributors out there, be sure to nominate your Millions pieces!
Infinite Jest may have “really taken on a foothold as the ‘novel of ideas’ of the late 20th and early 21st centuries” but now it’s also a “novel of legos,” courtesy of Kevin Griffith and his 11 year old son, Sebastian.
“What I didn’t know then was that these decorations evolved from the Jewish menora, the Hebrew festival of lights. I don’t think my mother knew that either, but if she did she never mentioned it. And I certainly never contemplated the resemblance of a sleigh to a cradle. A sleigh is basically a very large cradle.” Mary Ruefle on Christmas trees.
Flip through the blurbs on a recently published novel and you’re likely to come across a ton of stock phrases. Gary Shteyngart parodied this repetition — as well as other facets of the blurb-industrial complex — in a bit of improv last year. At The Morning News, Christine Gosnay writes about a poem that gave her a genuinely new reaction: the sense that she was “more than one person.”
Out this week: Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn; Another Great Day at Sea by Year in Reading alum Geoff Dyer; Funny Once by Antonya Nelson; Black Lake by Johanna Lane; Closed Doors by Lisa O’Donnell; Decompression by the German writer Juli Zeh; and J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf, published now for the first time. For more on these and other new titles, check out our Great 2014 Book Preview.