Coulrophobes take heed! You’re not scared of clowns because they’re inherently dark, or even because you caught a few minutes of Stephen King’s IT on television. In fact, you probably owe your fear of clowns to a fellow named Joseph Grimaldi, the “Homo erectus of clown evolution.” When this progenitor died in 1837, a young Charles Dickens “was charged with editing his memoirs.” The resulting portrait, relays Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, was what ultimately “water[ed] the seeds in popular imagination of the scary clown.”
Abdulrahman Zeitoun has been charged with plotting to kill his wife, her son and another man. The protagonist of Dave Eggers’s bestselling (and Millions Hall of Famer) Zeitoun has had a spate of legal troubles since the book’s 2009 release, most of which related to charges of domestic battery. You can read Eggers's statement on the matter over here. One has to wonder how these ongoing arrests will affect the forthcoming animated film based on Eggers’s book, which was scheduled for a 2014 premiere.
io9 offers up "The Twenty Science Fiction Novels that Will Change Your Life," from Frankenstein to Pattern Recognition. (via)Cathleen Schine on the charms of Peter CareyThe "Thomas Bernhard cult" claims a new initiate.F.O.T.M. (Friend of The Millions) Lydia Millet talks about "endangered species, the idea of motherhood, and her stint at Hustler.""Why do scribblers make drinking their second art? For one thing, it primes them for their task." Writers and booze.Some American Studies undergrads at The University of Virginia have put together an online exhibit titled "The New Yorker Magazine in the 1930s."NPR's "In Character" segment considers Hawthorne's Hester Prynne.
Annalee Newitz asks "What does science fiction tell us about the future of reproductive rights?"