One of the better reasons you should read this review of the new book Breakfast with Freud is this quote, in reference to a Lucian Freud painting: “Robert Hughes compared [Francis] Bacon’s face in it to ‘a hand grenade on the point of detonation.’”
David Lodge never set out to be a writer of campus novels, but that may end up being his legacy, thanks to his most famous books, Changing Places and Small World. In the LRB, Stefan Collini reviews a new book of essays and an autobiography by the author, the latter of which covers the first forty years of his life.
“But reading Finnegans Wake is more than a matter of collecting one’s favorite quotations – even if there is a huge pleasure in that, especially if you admire truly terrible jokes.” Michael Wood writes an essay on James Joyce, Lewis Carroll, and the origins of clever wordplay for the London Review of Books.
Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger has died at 91. Update: The New Yorker has linked to twelve of Salinger’s stories available to subscribers online.