Curiosities

June 24, 2014

Interview interviews, Vacationers vacation, etc., etc. 0

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Interview, well, interviews Emma Straub on beach reads, vacation, and The Vacationers. Bonus: Elizabeth von Arnim‘s The Enchanted April is mentioned, and if you haven’t already read the book or seen the movie, please do so immediately.

June 24, 2014

“Everything goes and nothing matters.” 0

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Recommended Reading: “When Literature Was Dangerous,” a history of censorship and the development of a culture “in which literature lacks urgency” and, perhaps, significance.

June 24, 2014

Becoming a Better Writer by… Not Writing? 1

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Julia Fierro is a writer we’ve featured before, and her first novel Cutting Teeth was published last month. But as she explains in a new piece, there was a stretch of time when she didn’t write at all. “I was so cruel to myself, so impatient, beating myself up daily for not writing,” she says. […]

June 24, 2014

N.Y.C. vs. M.F.A. vs. R.I.P. 0

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“I’m sure the ghost is fascinated by the N.Y.C. vs. M.F.A. debate, and would add that there’s a literary-world bias… toward writing done by the living.” The New Yorker interviews Rebecca Curtis about ghost stories and her latest piece of short fiction, “The Pink House.” For more about Curtis, check out our review of her […]

June 24, 2014

Raising Children and Writing Books 0

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“Quite possibly I’m a narrower, nastier and less morally responsible writer now than I was the day before my son was born. I certainly hope so.” We know Father’s Day was over a week ago, but here’s a belated link to a refreshingly cliché-free New York Times Bookends piece on parenting and writing, featuring James […]

June 24, 2014

Tuesday New Release Day: Ng; Kwok; Moses; Scheft; Ahmad; Fitzgerald 0

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New this week:  Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng; Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok; The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses; Shrink Thyself by the Letterman staff writer Bill Scheft; The Last Taxi Ride by A.X. Ahmad; and the Cambridge University Press edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Taps at Reveille. Support The Millions: Bookmark this link […]

June 23, 2014

Lolita, in the Margins 0

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When Vladimir Nabokov developed a screen adaptation for Lolita, his director Stanley Kubrick declared it the “best ever written in Hollywood”–meaning, it seems, most gorgeously novelistic, evocative, readable. Here’s a short excerpt of his screenplay with original margin notes.

June 23, 2014

The mind of a writer 0

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Scientists confirmed recently that writers are more likely to struggle with mental illness (sometimes, as recently noted, due to syphilis). Since we’re so used to our alcoholic literary greats, and a smattering of suicidal ones (Plath, Woolf, Thompson, Wallace–and many more), this comes as no great surprise. On a happier note, a new study using fMRIs and MFA students has found that […]

June 23, 2014

And then I was like “Alas!” 0

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For everyone who harbors a deep and mildly-embarrassed love for GIFs in the significant, non-linguistic part of their brains that finds repeated facial expressions far more memorable than words: Ploughshares’ series on classic novels (1984, The Catcher in the Rye, The Scarlet Letter, The Hobbit) will have you laughing and building your cocktail-party knowledge all at once.

June 23, 2014

“The canon may be gone, but the idea of the canon persists.” 0

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Recommended reading: Harpers on the making and persistence of literary canons in a relativist age.