Critical Reads August 17, 2012: The Artifacts Edition
- Best of List
"Like arguing Dostoevsky needed to commit murder in order to write Crime and Punishment."
This week, the artifact was the big animating force in the literary world as a lost novel was uncovered by Fugue State Press and The Library of Congress selected eighty-eight books that shaped America for a book exhibition. Friends of the late David Rakoff remembered him through the charming homemade gifts he gave, and one bibliophile noted that moving is a heinous pain in the ass for book owners. Finally, if a person can be an artifact, everyone's favorite redheaded artifact of the eighties, Molly Ringwald, talked about her new novel-in-stories.
Books That Shaped America (NPR)
A new Library of Congress exhibit, "Books That Shaped America," reminds us that books can be artifacts as easily as cave paintings. Chosen by a committee of historians, literary experts, curators, poets and scientists, the exhibition includes books as varied as Catcher in the Rye (own it) and The Joy of Cooking (wouldn't even know what to do with it.) Notably missing? Horror books.
David's Denim, Wallets, Linocuts, &c. (Rorevans)
There was a lot to love about David Rakoff. Being a This American Life addict, I loved listening to his pitch perfect radio essay delivieries and believe his prologue to the "Like It Or Not" episode should be forced on every middle school syllabus in America. In short, I loved David Rakoff and I never even met him. This week with his passing, one beautiful way to remember the writer visually was through the Rorevans Tumblr, where his friends have posted photos of the sweet homemade gifts he gave. Rakoff's great generosity of spirit and sense of humor shine through the images as clearly as in his writing.
The Bibliophiles Move (Electric Literature)
I don't know anyone who much enjoys the actual moving part of moving. The prospect of moving alone is, perhaps, the best way to curb a shopping habit. Yet problematically, I can't seem to stop buying books, and I'm not alone. In this Electric Literature blog post, one couple chronicles the pains of moving a bad book buying habit from one borough to another. Lesson learned: never fall in love with another book lover.
New Lost Stephen Dixon Novel Emerges (HTML Giant)
Stephen Dixon wrote Story of a Story and Other Stories: A Novel forty years ago. Now this meta tongue-twister of a title is finally being published by Fugue State Press. There is always hope for the dogged.
Leaning Toward the Light: Molly Ringwald Talks About Her New Novel (NY Times)
First it was James Franco. Now it's Molly Ringwald . The actor-author has taken the publishing world by storm, and in this interview Ringwald discusses her literary influences (Carver) and the school of hard knocks advice she received from Bret Easton Ellis (writers can't be wimps.) If Ringwald's gotten Cal Morgan's vote, I'm down to read this novel.
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