• Charles Portis enjoys “highpower rifle matches,” and a beer and a smoke. But he doesn’t want you to ask what he’s been working on lately.
  • A.M. Homes, Salman Rushdie, Gore Vidal and Lou Reed were among the contributors to XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits. At the opening last week:

    Artists, collectors, literati, and other art-world regulars appeared to mingle seamlessly with adult-movie producers and directors, agents, and quite a few of the performers whose full-color likenesses, many of them life-size (or almost) and half of them frontally nude, should have stopped conversation in its tracks but, for some reason, did not.

  • Ron Hogan interviews Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, National Book Award finalist, who says many of the characters and situations in her book, Madeleine is Sleeping:

    are “borrowed” from other texts so that she can give them her own spin. The title character, for example, was inspired by a footnote in Foucault about a man in 19th-century France who had been institutionalized after being caught receiving sexual favors from a young girl. What, she wondered, had been the girl’s story, and why hadn’t anyone thought to tell it?

  • David Foster Wallace’s creative writing students continue to rate his teaching skills:

    Yeah, it really sucks having the best writer of his generation teaching us writing. And yeah, it sucks having him talk all class. Why can’t he just be quiet so we can sleep. I.e.: he’s a super, idiosyncratic prof. A great opportunity for exposure to a fascinating mind. Get some stones, dorktoasts.

    (Via Smith and Stephenson; see also CAAF on Caryn James’ 1987 review of David Foster Wallace’s The Broom of the System.)

  • I keep forgetting to mention this bit from twinkle twinkle blah blah blah etc.:

    I very much consider JT LeRoy to be a hoax. Sure, maybe someone exists named JT LeRoy. Maybe “he” is even the person in those photos. But no one has ever offered any proof that a) he is the person who wrote Sarah and the Heart is Deceitful . . . (both of which I enjoyed, incidentally) or that b) anything those stories is true. And yet folks wanna believe in him so bad that they overlook the fact that most of LeRoy’s biggest proponents haven’t even met him. Now that he’s in the Styles section of the Times, I believe even less that he exists. No one featured in the Styles section is real, as we all know.


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