Sam Lipsyte’s new collection The Fun Parts is out this week. Also out are Red Doc> by Anne Carson, Mary Coin by Marisa Silver, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid, Jacob’s Folly by Rebecca Miller, The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates, and The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about this year’s Brandeis commencement, at which New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier argued that the humanities are under siege in America. In this week’s issue of Prospect Magazine, Malcolm Nicholson interviews Wieseltier, who claims that “we live in a culture of worthless praise.”
Mark McGurl author of the book that got everyone talking about MFA programs, The Program Era, mounts a spirited defense against Elif Batuman’s much discussed review of the book. Among his ripostes: “One can be all for the deflation of liberal pieties without being a gleeful ignoramus about it, as though literary journalism needs its own Ann Coulter.” Zing!
“Notes: Finally, a Pokémon that gets it: the living epitome of the unbearable ennui that characterizes life in the modern age. Despite having the mass of a cement truck, the Snorlax has the calm bearing of a yogi. Its rhythmic snoring chimes the steadfast paternoster of enlightened meditation. This is one Pokémon that truly doesn’t give a shit. One cannot help but feel humbled to be in the face of divinity.” The only thing that could make Pokémon Go any better would be playing it with Anthony Bourdain. At McSweeney’s, Allen Zhang imagines the opportunity.