“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.”
Free e-book bibliophiles rejoice, you now have yet another place to download public domain e-books. The Digital Reader reports on Standard Ebooks, a volunteer-based project to “produce a collection of high quality, carefully formatted, accessible, open source, and free public domain ebooks that meet or exceed the quality of commercially produced ebooks.” Pair with our post from a decade back about Project Gutenberg’s pubbing of “2 B R 0 2 B,” a “lost” story by Kurt Vonnegut.
“Notice how Malbecco, as Gelosy, lives outside of time, a death-in-life: he can ‘never dye, but dying lives.’ In other words, embrace a quality entirely—even, I would argue, a less pejorative quality, like hustle—and it overmasters you. You’re doomed.” Rowan Ricardo Phillips, basketball columnist for The Paris Review, on Edmund Spenser, hustle, and the New York Knicks.
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.