David Kurnick explores what makes Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels so addictive. As he puts it, “In Ferrante we see what grand novelistic ambition looks like devoid of writerly vanity.” Pair with Cora Currier’s essay on reading Italy through Ferrante’s books.
Before James Franco’s class began, he assigned each of his students to conceive a short film inspired by a different C.K. Williams poem about “decay, but also a sense of memory and rejuvenation.” This November, the class will travel to Detroit to shoot the movie.
Daylight savings time = more daylight to read by, and as luck would have it New York Review Books is having their winter sale, so you have no excuse to be out of reading material. You can stock up on titles 50% off through the end of March / the beginning of actual Spring.
Does literature belong on the streets? Thanks to some forward-thinking initiatives like the Coffee Sleeves Conversation at Coffee House Press and the Chicago-based project “Poem While You Wait,” (in which poets stationed around the city produce original, on-demand poems for five dollars a piece) literature is finding its way to the masses.
Poet turned playwright Sarah Ruhl’s latest stage production, Dear Elizabeth, is based on the correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. She recently spoke to Ruth Graham about her inspiration, and whether other writers’ letters could be adapted for the stage as well. (As an aside: you really should read The Clean House if you haven’t already.)