James Wolcott contends that V for Vendetta is “the most subversive cinematic deed of the Bush-Blair era, a dagger poised in midair. Unlike the other movies dubbed ‘controversial’ (Fahrenheit 9-11, The Passion, Munich, Syriana), it doesn’t play to a particular constituency or polarized culture bloc, it’s working on a deeper, Edgar Allan Poe-ish witch’s brew substrata of pop myth.” (And Jesse Kornbluth recalls the graphic novel from which the film takes its inspiration.)
George Murray notes: “Suffering from writer’s block on her second book, Maile Meloy decided to return to her first novel, and treat it like a disputed set of events, making the second book a ‘correction’ of the story told in the first.” He predicts that Meloy’s “third book will be the entire thing told again, this time from Richard Simmons’ point of view. It’s tentatively titled Saints Alive: The Bronze Afro.”
The American Academy of Arts and Letters has elected writers Lorrie Moore, Paul Auster, and David McCullough, playwrights A.R. Gurney and Wallace Shawn, and poet Frank Bidart to “fill the vacancies in its membership of 250 American artists, architects, writers and composers.”
Mark Sarvas rounds up recent literary prize developments.
The Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year spurs Nicholas Blincoe to consider terrible book titles. (“This year’s favourite is People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It.”)