The semester is officially in full swing, and sallying forth in the spirit of yesterday’s teaching theme, here is another list of rules for teachers–this time in the style of John Cage–from Anne Boyer over at The New Inquiry.
"João Gilberto Noll frustrates attempts to foresee the plot or to craft stories as they are traditionally understood and written. The series of events that appear in them are as tenuously linked into a broader narrative as those of a dream." An interview with Noll translator Adam Morris.
In the 1880s, a group of rural Illinoisans formed a Christian sect that believed that a local woman, Dorinda Beekman, was the new Jesus Christ. When Mrs. Beekman died, a follower of hers claimed that her spirit lived inside him; as the new leader of the sect, he moved his followers into a barn and named it Heaven. At The Paris Review Daily, Dan Visel looks back on this odd chapter of history, as well as the novel it inspired. (Related: Eric Shonkwiler on the literature of the Midwest.)
Speaking of festivals, recaps of last weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books are up at Jacket Copy. Rafael Yglesias took home the top fiction prize for his novel, A Happy Marriage.