Overdue book news fiesta

  • The NYPL is hosting an exhibition of artists’ books that resulted from collaborations between French artists like Picasso and Magritte, and poets including Mallarmé, Apollinaire, and Gide. (Via Bookish.)
  • “When I got to graduate school in Iowa,” says Daniel Woodrell, “I didn’t get it. People would say things, and where I was from you’d smack them; where they’re from, you’re supposed to come back with a witty rejoinder.” You’ll get a lot of that here in New York, too, if you’re not careful. I just smile. Then I produce a piece of hay from my bra and chew on it for a minute.
  • In the current Context, Anne Burke yawns over James Wood’s latest “call to arms” on “the theat of the not-realistic” (e.g., William Gaddis, Don DeLillo, and Gilbert Sorrentino). (Scroll to last item.)
  • In the NYRB, Tim Parks considers the curiously sentimental form that appreciations of Samuel Beckett — “a man who satirized every form of metaphysics and renounced any mental comfort that might subtract him from the exhausting experience of being alone with his conviction that the world was without meaning and expression futile, yet that all the same he was duty-bound to express the fact” — often take.
  • Atlantic correspondent Robert Kaplan’s “real and growingly evident problem is not his Parkinson’s grip on history, or that he is a bonehead or a warmonger,” says Tom Bissell, “but rather that he is an incompetent thinker and a miserable writer.”
  • The current and former mayors of Atlanta want to buy a collection Martin Luther King, Jr.’s papers, including “everything from sermon notes to a draft of King’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.”
  • A list of fictional expletives at Wikipedia “contains expletives invented by writers of fiction — often science fiction or fantasy — to add nuance to the fictional cultures in their work.” Add your own. (Via Making Light.)


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