“That to me was the rub. A writer freed from the need to calibrate with reality, or even be internally consistent, could put a washing machine into the sky along with a rainbow. So why not put a rhinoceros up there too?” On negative literary influences.
"White Americans do not realize how black they are," writes Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Dish. If, upon reading Sullivan, you find yourself questioning your racial identity, try the blog Stuff White People Like--sure, most of it is really stuff that dinks and yuppies like (class trumps race, as Walter Ben Michaels explains at the LRB), but it might help you brush up on the ways and loves of white folks: camping, pea coats, hating your parents, Wes Anderson, diversity, sushi, standing still at concerts...
Garth recently posited that Dave Eggers would be a great, if counter-intuitive, replacement for Philip Gourevitch at the Paris Review. Instead, the Paris Review has announced today the equally admirable appointment of FSG editor Lorin Stein to head up the venerable literary magazine. The announcement.
Haven't heard of Teffi? You can blame that one on the Bolsheviks. The early-20th-century Russian poet, playwright and journalist, whose fans included (oddly enough) both Vladimir Lenin and Tsar Nikolai, had to flee a Moscow in turmoil to avoid persecution as a dissident. Now, several publishers are reprinting her memoir of exile, for which The New Statesman has details and a short biography.