Would Vladimir Nabokov have considered you a good reader? Take this little quiz and find out for yourself. Then, allow Garth Risk Hallberg to explain to you why Nabokov’s Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle is difficult, but well worth the effort.
I’m thinking about installing a Delaney Nolan bat signal to alert the world of her new work whenever it appears. Previously I’ve evangelized about her writing in Guernica, Necessary Fiction, Sundog Lit, and The Rumpus, but this time I’d like to call attention to her photo essay about New Orleans in the latest issue of Oxford American.
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about book sales — from what the heck even constitutes a sale, to standard print runs, to author earnings per sale — from Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature.
“Art isn’t a footrace. No one comes in first place. Greatness is not a universally agreed-upon value. … America isn’t one story. It’s a layered and diverse array of identities, individual and collective, forged on contradictory realities that are imbued with and denied privilege and power. Our obsession with the Great American Novel is perhaps evidence of the even greater truth that it’s impossible for one to exist. As Americans, we keep looking anyway.” Cheryl Strayed and Adam Kirsch discuss the Great American Novel in this week’s New York Times Bookends. For a slightly different take, consider the 9 novels our experts chose as the Greatest American novels, from Moby-Dick to The Godfather.
“It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes a great artist creative” but The Atlantic makes a strong attempt and cites the story behind Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein as an example of what can happen “when experience, openness, and the right neurology come together.”
How do you pronounce the name of the titular character from Samuel Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot? Is it GOD-oh or is it god-OH? Or is it a third variant altogether? While investigating the question for The New York Times, Dave Itzkoff has found that there may not be a correct answer, after all.