“I thought quite a lot about the vocabulary of tourism, the kinds of desires that vocabulary seems designed to ignite, and the promises made, and how those promises change or vanish altogether depending on who you are.” The Paris Review interviews Laura van den Berg about writing, tourism, and her new novel, The Third Hotel. From our archives: our 2015 interview with van den Berg.
The New York Times is reporting that Maurice Sendak has died at 83. In part because I shared a name with its main character, Where the Wild Things Are was a beloved book of mine. Sendak’s last book Bumble-Ardy, full of chaotic drawings of mischievous pigs, is a favorite of 19-month-old son’s. May Sendak’s bountiful imagination and heart live on for many generations in his books.
Behold the polymathic mind of Terry Castle, professor, literary essayist, and collage artist. At Fevered Brain Productions, her art blog, see digitally alter photos and collages like “Warthog Proffering Rootbeer,” “She Polarizes People,” “Collage Dramas”, and “Kind Hearts and Coronets.” And from the LRB archives, check out her controversial quasi-eulogy for Susan Sontag, her reviews (for example, Always the Bridesmaid on Yopie Prins‘ Victorian Sappho), and her essays (Travels With My Mom). The Professor, Castle’s forthcoming book of essays, will be published by HarperCollins in January.
If you find cat hair in a book you checked out of the Novorossiysk Library, don’t worry. It belongs to the newest librarian. Kuzya the cat started off as a pet at the Russian library but was promoted after patronage increased due to his presence. The new library assistant even wears a bow tie.
“In fact, I think Plath has turned out to be a much better poet than Hughes ever was. Of course he won all the prizes, and his name is on the stones in Poet’s Corner and OK, he’s pretty good, but not that good, whereas she gets better and better.” Granta interviews the critic Al Alvarez, onetime friend of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.