Writing about a foreign country is always a dodgy proposition, but it seems to be especially thorny when English people and Americans take on their transatlantic brethren. Looking over two contributions to the genre by English writers — Terry Eagleton’s Across the Pond and A.A. Gill’s To America With Love — Carlin Romano concludes that neither manages to “teach us something new about ourselves.”
Okay, so earlier this week I mentioned Emily Nussbaum‘s excellent profile of Lena Dunham for New York Magazine. Now Lorrie Moore‘s written one too, for The New Yorker blog. The short piece, as you might imagine, is a near perfect meeting of author and subject; who could be better at writing about Girls?
The Rumpus has a little round up of links in anticipation of the 13th annual Gathering of the Juggalos. If you’re at all fascinated by the devoted fans of Insane Clown Posse, or if you yourself are one, you’d probably get a lot out of Kent Russell’s excellent essay “American Juggalo” in issue no. 12 of n+1.
Who invented ska music? John Jeremiah Sullivan traces the history of the genre in his latest essay for The Oxford American. “The more the claims for Rosco Gordon’s supremacy as a ska progenitor seem not out of proportion, and the less crazy it feels to say that, in a sense, ska was born in Tennessee.” Pair with: Sullivan’s essay on Bunny Wailer, who makes a cameo in his ska essay.
The steady stream of books about and by David Foster Wallace is continuing in 2012. We already noted the forthcoming Conversations with David Foster Wallace, and the calendar now also includes The Legacy of David Foster Wallace from the University of Iowa’s New American Canon series, D.T. Max’s biography Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, and Both Flesh and Not, a collection of as yet uncollected nonfiction by Wallace.