At Electric Literature, Marie-Helene Bertino discusses the importance of disrupting realism in her fiction and opting to explore the fantastical to get closer to the truth. “Perhaps we want to break the laws of physics because it’s fun,” Bertino says, “because we want to reach a particular emotional resonance unable to be accessed through conventional methods. Because we do not think using the supernatural elements is out of the ordinary. Because the supernatural is our ordinary and to write realism would be, for us, stranger. Perhaps we venture outside realism because to express our understanding of life, because removing the middleman of simile and making the figurative real feels more honest.”
Enlightenment comes in many guises, and though we usually think of it as arriving in a koi pond or a distant mountaintop, we can also find it, as the protagonist of Year in Reading alum Tom McCarthy’s new novel attempts to do, on Staten Island. In The New Republic, David Marcus reads the book.
In a move that will likely become more and more common, The Weinstein Company has inked a deal with Netflix to license some of its latest (and most critically acclaimed) films to Instant Watch instead of traditional cable outlets. Coriolanus, Undefeated, and The Artist will be among the first titles released. Elsewhere, Vanity Fair profiles Netflix’s “bloody but only slightly bowed” CEO, Reed Hastings.
Joshua Rothman writes for The New Yorker about Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, privacy and “a gift that you’ve been given, which you must hold onto and treasure but never open.”