Essayist and Russian literature scholar Elif Batuman in an interview with the Boston Globe on how the Russians get the combination of “funny and sad” better than the Germans, the English, or the French.
Don’t miss Maurice Sendak sparring admirably with Stephen Colbert (part 1, part 2) on the occasion of Bumble-ardy, an instant classic in my house. He followed that up with master interviewer Terry Gross, on whose show Colbert was recently a guest.
At a party thrown by Tom Stoppard in 1972, Kingsley Amis bumped into Roald Dahl, and was encouraged by the Matilda author to write a children’s book in order to make a quick buck. “The little bastards’d swallow it,” Dahl said.