Tardy remainders

  • Bush awarded National Endowment for the Arts honors to the late poet Anthony Hecht (accepted by his wife Helen) and fiction writer Ray Bradbury. Given Bush’s actual literary tastes, I’m guessing Dana Gioia is behind the choices. (Via Bookninja.)
  • Is the e-book, after all, a viable publishing strategy? McSweeney’s seems to think so. Tomorrow it will make available, free of charge, its “first career-development e-book,” Chris Bachelder‘s Lessons in Virtual Tour Photography,” at mcsweeneys.net.
  • Speaking of McSweeney’s, Christine Newgard, a student at U.T. Austin, writes a scathing Daily Texan review of the publisher’s recent humor anthology:

    the McSweeney’s crew, that group of young, annoyingly self-referencing authors including Dave Eggers and his numerous pseudonyms, Neal Pollack, and other writers who compose the quarterly McSweeney’s journal has come out with a new literary letdown “Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans,” which promises “the best of McSweeney’s Humor Category” and only sometimes delivers a good laugh.

  • Wyatt Mason’s LRB essay on David Foster Wallace and his new short story collection is essential reading even if Wallace’s fiction annoys you as much as it does me. (Thanks again for the subscription, Alex.)
  • C.S. Lewis, about whom (the Narnia books aside) there is some disagreement in the Maud household (Mr. Maud being a devoted fan), led a more adventurous life than some of his admirers realize:

    The members of the C. S. Lewis Society of Oxford discuss an angelic, High Church Lewis who was a lifelong celibate — regardless of the facts that he was married for four years and before that lived with another woman for nearly 30, or that his letters to his lifelong friend Arthur Greaves discuss both masturbation and sadomasochism. Many of Lewis’s admirers never seem to grasp that they do him no favors by making him an unfallen angel — his virtues and accomplishments would have been without merit and his life would have nothing to say to us.


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