To give context to a new William Vollmann essay about reading his own FBI profile (available to subscribers only, sadly), Harper’s Magazine published a few pages from Vollmann’s file online. Among other things, they reveal that the FBI considered Vollman “exceedingly intelligent and possessed with an enormous ego.” (For a taste of the Harper’s essay, you can read this WaPo article on Vollmann’s connection to the Unabomber.)
The Paris Review and the 92nd Street Y have long collaborated on a series of onstage conversations with prominent authors. Now, these talks are going to be made available online as part of 92Y’s Poetry Center Online, and also on the Review’s website. Kicking off the first round of videos are talks with Garrison Keillor, Iris Murdoch, and William Styron. Look out in the coming months for more audio with the likes of Maya Angelou, Jamaica Kincaid, and Allen Ginsberg. (Bonus: 92Y has been adding heaps of content to its digital archive all month.)
“An ambidextrous cardsharp, who took losing as a personal insult; a proletarian agitator, who dressed like a dandy; a germ-fearing hypochondriac, smoking 100 cigarettes a day; a lady-killer with rotten teeth, causing a string of abortions wherever he went.” On the Soviet poet Mayakovksy.
“This seems to me the much more complex human truth … that for every theorist of the physical, as with every brainless brawler out in front of a tavern, there is a spot in him in which he aspires to the spirit. Always the flickering of the spiritual in which we reach for better. This is the ambition that changes those who aspire to it.” Here is the latest installment in The Literary Hub’s brave, groundbreaking series “Rick Moody: Life Coach.” This week finds Moody urging his reader along a path of nonviolence. Last time he took on crying.