Literary Round-Up (3.18 – 3.25)

Hi! It’s Flannery O’Connor’s birthday today. Here’s to you, you grim genius you.

Here’s how and why James Hannaham became a southern writer. Altar to Flannery O’Connor conspicuously missing from this article at Buzzfeed.

Jonathan Franzen’s Purity is out soon, and the cover was released last week. Looking forward to some WordArt-inspired raised lettering!

VIDA on Kenneth Goldsmith and Colonialist Poetry.

Here are 18 science fiction stories that will, apparently, blow your socks off.

James Yeh and VICE bring to you an exclusive excerpt from Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle: 4. Here’s hoping to a rousing description of the bottom of a tea cup.

Ack! (courtesy of The New Yorker.)

Ack! (courtesy of The New Yorker.)

Judith Butler talks to the LARB about power and precarity. Look at how cool her jacket is!

Did Harper Lee want to write a true crime novel? Is it about Robert Durst?

Here’s one of two links from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. This one is about the limits of diversity.

Here’s the second one. It’s about diversity. and jokes. And racism. And Jenny Zhang and Monica McClure. I promise there is funny inside though.

Charles Yu plays with annotating platform Genius and form in his new story at Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading. *~*~*The Future*~*~*~

Is It All Bullshit? — On Aesthetics and Doubt

Loie Merritt

I consider the possibilities of language as tangible, a collection of objects that I can cast off or adorn at will onto the body of my work. In these early stages of my career, in the beginnings of learning what to care about and when, how is this costume, my costume, to be received? I’m curious to propose, here, a dialogue that I hope will challenge the way we dress ourselves. In this dialogue, what role does the capital-E establishment of Art play? How might a curiously conscious and angry writer begin to devastate the prejudice so frequently employed under the guise of any particular “aesthetic”?

I have recently begun thinking about my particular aesthetic and what tomb it might be placed in should it die tomorrow. The risk of death seems very possible, very often. There’s a gremlin in the corner ready to bite my fingers off and she is always pressing me: “Oh just get it over with! Write what they like. Write what is easy. Write what sells.” Certain she’d happily watch my writing bleed out on the page, I can’t submit just yet.



Literary Round-Up (3.11 — 3.18)

Hi. Need a break from mainlining Robert Durst and The Jinx? We have reads.


Here’s a fantastic interview with the Chinese experimental writer Can Xue at BOMB.

Jason Lazarus is collecting those photos that are too banal, too tragic, too arresting in his photo series Too Hard To Keep. Check some of it out at VICE.

Kieron Gillen has a touching tribute to Terry Pratchett, who passed away last week.

The NBCC awards happened last week. Big ups to Claudia Rankine, but we were also hoping that Lacy M. Johnson was going to nab a win for The Other Side.

Wait, “Islamophobic Futurism” is a genre?

Leslie Jamison on how to deal with something you think is too confessional.

Kenneth Goldsmith is, uh, well. Someone who seems to persistently make bad decisions in his life.

Did you ever wonder what Sappho sounded like?

This is what a person looks like before they tweet.

This is what a person looks like before they tweet.

The new issue of The Collagist went up this weekend. Reviews of Sarah Gerard’s Binary Star, an excerpt from Greg Howard’s forthcoming Hospice (FC2), and some of the strangest fiction this coast of the Internet sees every month.

Kate Zambreno and Chelsea Hodson interview each other over at 0s & 1s’ series PIXELATED.

Remember that moment in Broad City when a hallucinating Abbi throws a jar of $40 honey in a Brooklyn Whole Foods? Yeah, me too. So do Rebecca Wanzo and Kyla Wazana Tompkins at the LARB, but they’re not tickled.