“This doesn’t really tell you what he was like. I say what we did together, that he helped me, what I think he liked. I don’t know how to say what he was like. I loved him.” For The Los Angeles Review of Books, an interview with Lynne Tillman on her relationship with art historian, critic, and theorist Craig Owens, who died 29 years ago at the age of 39. Tillman discusses Owens’s idea of writing “alongside,” not “about,” art, adding, “I don’t expect answers from art. It doesn’t speak as people or other animals do…I’m speaking and looking ‘at’ or ‘to’ an artwork; I am not explaining it, not talking ‘about’ it, but addressing myself ‘to’ it.”
On January 25th, if you’re in New York City, you could do worse than to listen to a handful of New York Magazine editors discuss non-fiction storytelling. The event is being held in conjunction with Longreads and Housing Works Bookstore Café.
In a time of crisis, any decision is better than no decision at all. That line–credited to Theodore Roosevelt–is pop conventional wisdom. An excellent piece at Aeon explores the full implications of the line, and may just convince you that your next impossible choice should be made by a soothsayer, a lottery, or a flipped coin.
“I am very fortunate to be involved in a number of supportive communities who rally when things like this happen – but rarely do I laugh quite as hard as I did when reading Avid Reader’s responses.” The Guardian has the uplifting story of how an independent Australian bookstore “took on anti-feminist trolls and won.” If for some reason, after reading that, you want to wade into an equally polarized comments section, scroll down to the conversation following Daniel Jose Ruiz‘s recent piece on geekdom and race.
Recommended reading: Lauren O’Neal writes for the LA Review of Books about analog music, Millennial poetry and Jack White‘s foray into publishing.