Literature and fashion have a long history of inspiring each other, as seen in a list compiled by Jessica Heron-Langton for Dazed magazine. Mary Shelley, Anthony Burgess, Stephen King, and H.G. Wells: these authors’ books have inspired various fashion collections in recent decades. It’s no surprise that Virginia Woolf‘s Orlando, in particular, seems to have inspired many a designer. “Woolf’s novel has gone on to become a cultural touchstone, notably in the LGBTQ+ community. With its extensive timespan and gender-fluid approach to fashion, a number of designers have looked to the book for inspiration. From Ann Demeulemeester and her AW07 collection to Christopher Bailey for his AW16 Burberry show, there is also Rei Kawakubo who has dedicated both her SS20 men and womenswear shows to the novel as part of a three-part project.”
“Yehuda Amichai’s genius lies in how—to borrow from his own language—he makes metaphor ‘useful.’ He thinks metaphorically, and in so doing he makes stories of them, treating his likenesses as if they were not metaphorical but animated literalisms. That’s why, I suspect, his metaphors have not merely poetic power but practical vitality, in the way that a horse is not only alive but usefully alive.” Every time James Wood publishes a big profile in The New Yorker, it’s worth a read; this week’s essay on the “secular psalmist” and poet Yehuda Amichai is no different.
And now, a little bit about a world you might be totally unfamiliar with; this piece from The Rumpus is a fascinating, in-depth look at identity politics and eating pork in the Chinese borderlands. Bonus: a complementary piece about what it’s like to be a Chinese-American writer living in china.
Two weeks ago, Tod Goldberg came out with a new novel, Gangsterland, that centers on a hit man in the Chicago Mafia. At The Nervous Breakdown, you can read an excerpt of the novel, as well as one of their trademark self-interviews, in which Goldberg explains that for the past three years, he’s been “writing and writing and writing. But sometimes, that just means I’m not writing at all.” You could also read the author’s dispatch from AWP.