in the film version of Fahrenheit 451. In the New York Times this week the director Ramin Bahrani talks about his love of books, how he decided which books to turn in the film and why he wanted to bring this novel to the small screen in the first place. It will air on HBO next Saturday (May 19th).
“‘What pleases the PUBLIC is always what’s most banal,’ he wrote to his brother in 1883. But nowadays Van Gogh pleases the public enormously. So has he become banal?” Julian Barnes reflects on Van Gogh’s life and work and how our perception of him has changed over time in a London Review of Books podcast. Interested in contemporary art? Check out our own Bill Morris’s piece on the Whitney Museum.
Comics fans will know that a new Marvel storyline may — just possibly — reunite Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. This has, understandably, produced a range of reactions, not least of which is this piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who argues that the two embody a healthy marriage. “[Their] marriage was a rejection of the macho ideal of romance—which reigns even among nerds—and it mirrored and confirmed my own budding sense of what love was at a very young age,” he writes. You could also read Paul Morton on the character of Peter Parker.
Chris Adrian‘s pedigree is impressive: former Harvard Divinity student; Iowa Writer’s Workshop graduate; current fellow in UCSF’s pediatric hematology/oncology department; lifelong fan of Shakespeare. He’s also found time to appear in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and McSweeney’s. Great Night, his latest novel, imaginatively reboots A Midsummer Night’s Dream by setting it in San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park. Here’s some footage of him reading an excerpt at last month’s FSG Reading Series.
When Belarusian investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize earlier this year, her horrifying and poetic book Voices From Chernobyl exposed a great many readers to the Chernobyl disaster. Now, this piece from The Atlantic takes a look at Chernobyl’s literary legacy over the past three decades.
Hot new online magazine Full Stop has chosen The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books as its inaugural book club selection. The discussion will be happening all this week.
From icy Philadelphia, some links to start the day:The latest round at the LBC is over, but we’ve posted our nominees for the next round. Read the books now so you can discuss them with us in a month or so. I was a nominator this round and my pick is The Cottagers by Marshall N. Klimasewiski.An Ask Metafilter thread on books by women for men who don’t like books by women. Lots of good recommendations… Might do a separate “booklist” post here at some point compiling all those suggestions.Dan Wickett’s Dzanc Books has two more titles on the way, one by Yannick Murphy who wrote LBC nominee Here They Come and one by Wickett fave Peter Markus (who he mentioned in his 2006 best of here at The Millions.)Combining Garfield and reference books seems like a bad idea. Note: A groundbreaking work in that it is the “1st dictionary with attitude” (via)