“A group of young, attractive, if somewhat emotionally crippled people, who otherwise seem to have things going for them, have decided upon a secret pact to effectively end their futures. They want you to join them. Dinner parties at other people’s houses are involved.” For McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Erika Vause asks the question that needed to be asked: Does this harrowing plot summary describe a critically acclaimed film of the 2010s, or does it describe your PhD program? (Spoiler alert: It’s both.) Pair with this list of horror films about writers from the archives and you’ve got a real scarefest on your hands. We’re laughing, but we’re also crying.
Out this week: A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk; The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray (whom our own Mark O’Connell interviewed today); Submission by Michel Houellebecq; Golden Age by Jane Smiley; The Hours Count by Jillian Cantor; Moon Up, Past Full by Eric Shonkwiler; and Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell. For more on these and other new titles, go read our Great Second-Half 2015 Book Preview.
Over at Aeon, Alana Massey writes about memory and how the internet archives personal data. In her own words, “Because the archiving technology captures only snapshots of a site at a given time, results might not be an exact replica of the site as it was. As I learned from the fragments of our site, things such as embedded media might be missing and scripts are unlikely to work. After all, a toy boat is hardly its former self after a lifetime at the bottom of the sea. No matter how intact an archive, it can never fully reconstruct the texture and completeness of the original memory.”