• No doubt you’ve heard: Nobel laureate Claude Simon has died.
  • Elias Canetti, once-lover of Iris Murdoch and the inspiration for the Charles Arrowby in her Booker prize-winning The Sea, The Sea, evidently paints Murdoch as a “scheming yet obtuse slut showing off her breasts” in his Party in the Blitz. (The Sea, The Sea, incidentally, is an exceptional novel.)
  • Keith Garebian says John Berger’s memoir combines “philosophy and fiction with a sharp documentary eye on precise details.” When Berger and his daughter Katya “visit the grave of Jorge Luis Borges (custodian of discarded things)” in Geneva, “Berger notes how the streets look like aisles between the bookshelves of an extensive library.”
  • A Washington City Paper writer argues that the McSweeney’s “navel-picking style” has worked its way into the amateur music criticism of several “literary rock stars posing as rock critics.” (Thanks to Lux Lotus for the link.)


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