Thursday afternoon miscellany

  • When your latest no-holds-barred anal sex film is a lesser draw at its opening than the unlikely appearance of your reclusive writer uncle, maybe it’s time to put your panties back on. (Via.)
  • The new terror bill and its predecessor, the Patriot Act, prompt Dahlia Lithwick to wonder whether “there shouldn’t be a mandatory three-month cooling-off period whenever Congress enacts broad laws that rewrite the Constitution.”
  • The Virginia Quarterly Review has been running excerpts from Art Spiegelman’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@?*!. You can read two installments online. And this fall the magazine will publish a recently discovered Robert Frost poem.
  • Maurice Sendak discusses his unhappy childhood and his new children’s book, Mommy.
  • The Grumpy Old Bookman discusses the interplay between fiction and emotion.
  • Thomas Hardy fans oppose a plan to transform his birthplace into a holiday cottage.
  • Colin Burrow argues, while reviewing a new biography of John Donne, that “literary biography is intrinsically pernicious.” I wonder how biographers, including my friend Terry Teachout (who penned a biography of H.L. Mencken, and talked a bit about the experience here), would respond.

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