Critical Reads September 28, 2012: The Kickstart Edition
- Best of List
"I'm the Mayor."
This week was seven days of kickstarting, from the kickstart of a web-based exquisite corpse to J.K. Rowling kickstarting her adult book career to Arizona State University kickstarting the Center for Science and Imagination. Literary Death Match began a Kickstarter campaign for a television pilot, and Christine Smallwood detailed what happened when Norman Mailer tried to kickstart a film career.
Electronic Corpse (Electronic Corpse)
The thing about writers is that they're almost always going to be a little jealous of musicians. Musicians get to get on stage! Musicians get to throw beer on the audience! Musicians get to play together! Then the writers buck up and get an exquisite corpse going. Recently a group of writing cool kids -- Ankur Thakkar, Roxane Gay, Kyle Beachy, Laura Hadden, Patrick Somerville, Rachel Fershleiser, and Sara Levine -- did just that via Tumblr. The Tumblr is called Electronic Corpse and the writers have described the project like so: "A group of writers and editors will participate in a digital storytelling experiment using Tumblr. For three days, they will collaborate on a story in the style of the ‘exquisite corpse.' Each writer will take a turn adding to a single story with text, images, videos, and audio at their disposal. We'll follow the story session with a panel discussion with the authors to discuss the experiment as well as their experience in digital storytelling and using the Internet to market creative work."
Literary Death Match: The TV Pilot (Kickstarter)
I love Literary Death Match. It's fun. It's faux competition. You don't have to sit through any sad recent college grads read sad poems about their sad recent college relationships. Now LDM is raising funds via Kickstarter for a TV pilot starring Diablo Cody, Michael C. Hall, and Susan Orlean. New fantasy: a channel comprised solely of back-to-back LDM and The Moth.
The Films of Norman Mailer (New Yorker)
Last month three films were released by the Criterion Collection: Maidstone, Beyond the Law, and Wild 90. All three were projects of the late Stormin' Norman Mailer, but notably, they were all also shot by D.A. Pennebaker. In this incisive article, writer Christine Smallwood isolates exactly what it is that defines these films: "Every scene in every film is a comment on performance itself."
In Tempe, Arizona Science and Science Fiction Meet (New York Times)
When Harry met Sally, she made fake orgasm noises at Katz' Deli. When scientists and science fiction writers met in Tempe, Arizona, ideas for technology and novels bounced around faster than particles in the Large Hadron Collider. The Arizona State University Center for Science and Imagination opened this past Monday for the very purpose of continuing dialogues between creatives and scientists. I personally would love to see Charles Yu sent to the CSI to contribute his thoughts on building a time machine.
Rowling Book Gets Two Million Copy Print Run (WSJ)
She's sold over 450 million books-in print alone. She's made Daniel Radcliffe a household name. Now J.K. Rowling has published her first "adult" book, The Casual Vacancy, and two million copies will be made available in print form stateside. Michiko Kakutani has already ruled the book unmagical, but that doesn't mean the book won't sell like hotcakes. There are a lot of Harry Potter fans out there who were kids when the series was being published and are now grown up and ready to take the twenty dollar gamble on a novel.
Check back every Friday for the next installment of our Critical Reads series.