People gave names to things so they could tell stories about them, goddam fairy...– Sam Lipsyte, “Deniers” (via fwriction)
All the Tall, Shy Young Men
INTERVIEWER: You don't object to my recording our conversations?
JORGE LUIS BORGES: No, no. You fix the gadgets. They are a hindrance, but I will try to talk as if they're not there. Now where are you from?
INTERVIEWER: From New York.
BORGES: Ah, New York. I was there, and I liked it very much—I said to myself: “Well, I have made this; this is my work.”
INTERVIEWER: You mean the walls of the high buildings, the maze of streets?
BORGES: Yes. I rambled about the streets—Fifth Avenue—and got lost, but the people were always kind. I remember answering many questions about my work from tall, shy young men. In Texas they had told me to be afraid of New York, but I liked it. Well, are you ready?
INTERVIEWER: Yes, the machine is already working.
BORGES: Now, before we start, what kind of questions are they?
Your Week at McNally J
Tonight? Tonight we’ve got Kenji Yoshino on Shakespeare & justice. If you were to make a Venn diagram about poets and lawyers, Yoshino’s book would the happy space in the middle. Tuesday? Oh man, Tuesday. It might not be too late—though maybe it is!—to sign up for Susan Bernofsky’s translation workshop. If you’ve been forced by one of us to buy a Robert...
Weekend New Book Round-Up
If Jesus is anything like me, He is risen and drinking iced coffee. And rounding up the new books for the bookstore blog that He blogs at. It’s been a while—remember when these were actually weekly?—so forgive me as I get back into the swing of rounding up new and newish books. In paperback: Lydia Davis’ The Cows. This is a small chapbook about literal cows, literal cows...
Actually, the shittle in shittle-come-shites hints at a complication, because...– Paul Collins on the etymology of shitfaced. (via @maudnewton)
The Powerpoint Chapter from A Visit to the Goon... →
Your Week at McNally Jackson
Guess what you guys. It’s Sunday, and you’re probably looking at tumblr on your iPhone while you’re out to brunch, taking occasional sips of your frigging mimosa. Well la-di-da Mr. or Ms. Comfybrunch. I’ve got news for you: I’m at work, and we’ve got events this week. Monday: Blake Butler is here for There is No Year. Tuesday: Thomas “I’m from...
My Life & Times in American Journalism →
And speaking of Philip Connors, n+1 recently put online an excerpt from Connors’ essay “My Life and Times in American Journalism,” which is one of the best things (if not the best (!)(?)) they’ve ever published.
I’ve worked almost all my life, starting on the family farm where my brother and...– Philip Connors, from his interview with Maud Newton up on the Paris Review. Connors is here 4/21 with Lewis Lapham—part of Fire Season is excepted in the latest issue of Lapham’s, Lines of Work. I read Fire Season, and it’s great. I recommend this review, which articulates pretty...
Housing Works Bookstore - w4m →
housingworksbookstore: “I’ve never really posted before, so this is a shot in the dark. I was the girl with the nose ring and the Brooklyn lager. I just thought you were incredibly cute. Wouldn’t have minded a chat. Maybe not too late?” Maybe not too late! Spring is in the air! Monger some love! It’s been so long since a McNJ missed connection has popped up in the google alert! What are...
Probably all of us, writers and readers alike, set out into exile, or at least a...– Roberto Bolaño, Exiles (via nybooks)
In case you missed it
Here are Cormac McCarthy and Werner Herzog (and a theoretical physicist) having a chat. Spoiler alert: Herzog reads from All the Pretty Horses, and it’s everything you’d hope it could be.
Norm MacDonald v. Jonathan Franzen →
Cormac McCarthy on NPR's "Science Friday" →
literaryflack: Don’t miss Cormac McCarthy on NPR’s “Science Friday” tomorrow (4/8, 3-4pm ET) on Connecting Science and Art. Science and art often seem to develop in separate silos, but many thinkers are inspired by both. Novelist Cormac McCarthy, filmmaker Werner Herzog, and physicist Lawrence Krauss discuss science as inspiration for art and Herzog’s new film on the earliest known cave...
The realization that you have something of value to contribute to the greater...– Inside David Foster Wallace’s Private Self-Help Library | The Awl (via nickdouglas)
Sam Anderson on The Pale King →
I am not reading any reviews of The Pale King until I’m finished, but Sam Anderson—one of the better book critics that exists—wrote the one I’ll read first.
thessaly: “I would go to the bookstore and just keep reminding myself of how many people have written novels. I thought, ‘Well, I’m not dumber than most people. I must be able to do this if I just persevere.’” — David Bezmozgis on writing a novel. He was here at this bookstore last night for The Free World—bunch of signed copies floating (not literally floating) around the...
To disguise nothing, to conceal nothing, to write about those things that are...– John Cheever, from The Journals. Quoted by Geoff Dyer in his essay on The Journals in Otherwise Known as the Human Condition. (Did you hear that he—Geoff, not John—is reading here May 9th, talking with Sam Lipsyte?)