At the Paris Review, Olga Tokarczuk reflects on the “wild metaphysics” of Leonora Carrington’s 1974 surrealist novel, The Hearing Trumpet. “The non-genre novel aims to establish its own rules for the created universe, sketching its own epistemological maps,” Tokarczuk writes. “And this is the case whether the book is a love story, a murder mystery, or the tale of an expedition to another galaxy. The Hearing Trumpet eludes all categorization. From its first sentence on, it presents an internally coherent cosmos governed by self-generated laws. In doing so it passes disturbing comment on things we never stop to question.”
“But every time I sat down in my desk, my heart raced. I forgot the words, my sentences sounded wordy, unnecessary, ugly.” Our own Bruna Dantas Lobato writes about anxiety and writer’s block for Ploughshares. Pair with her Staff Pick for The Millions, Juan Goytisolo’s Count Julian.
Movies on Mars–that’s Avatar director James Cameron‘s newest project and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab will reap the benefits. At the Pasadena Star News, the story of how Cameron’s camera will give a 3D eye to the next Mars rover.
At The Guardian, Susanna Rustin interviews the Irish writer Edna O’Brien, whose new anthology of stories, The Love Object, comes out as an e-book this week. Among other things, she compares a writer who works on a book for only one day a week with a parent who leaves a toddler unsupervised: “You can’t find it again.”