Fans of the French Oulipo movement will know about A Void, the Georges Perec novel written entirely without the use of the letter “e.” What very few readers of any kind know, however, is that in 1939, thirty years before Perec’s novel was published, Ernest Vincent Wright wrote a book in English, Gadsby, that hewed to these same constraints. At The Atlantic, Nikhil Sonnad investigates how this experiment plays out in the book.
"There is also a particularly awkward and dispiriting form of loneliness that settles in the shoulders when faced with a room filled with social media connections, those digital acquaintances who remain strangers in the flesh." Life amongst the introverts, and other dispatches from AWP 2013.
This week the Band of Merry Men/Women that is of Football Book Club is reading Carmen Giménez Smith's poetry collection Milk and Filth -- and posting about Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction. Also: Check in later this week for possible guest posts by Ben Carson and Donald Trump. Also: There will be no guest posts by Ben Carson and Donald Trump.
In the latest entry in By Heart, the Atlantic series we’ve written about a few times, Ben Marcus (who recently came out with a new book) reflects on the true meaning of the word “Kafkaesque.” Marcus interprets Kafka’s “A Message from the Emperor” as a parable about the difficulty of real human connection. (Related: there’s now a Kafka video game.)