I am consistently drawn in, and consistently disappointed, by bio-novels about women made unhappy by famous men. I read The Paris Wife, about Hadley Hemingway. I read Loving Frank, about Frank Lloyd Wright’s mistress. I read the diaries of Sofya Tolstoy. And now I’ve read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. I put each of them aside a heavy sigh when I’ve finished. I’m not disappointed in the books, but in the lives of the women. The point of these books is to tell their side of the story, but in reality, and definitely in Zelda’s case, they didn’t get their own side of the story. — The Museum of Unhappy Women by Janet Potter
“Paradoxically, this is the reason to write and read about Zelda [Fitzgerald], because she deserved a life much more interesting than the one that she got. Interesting to her, that is, a life she could have given her energy and talents to, not just a life made interesting by famous friends and European capitals.” - Janet Potter
“When you flush the toilet, do you know where your shit goes? Sure, in most cities, it flows into the main sewer system until it reaches a waste-water treatment plant somewhere on the outskirts of town. But then what happens to it? Do you have any idea?”
Cormac McCarthy Flaunts Sexy New Beach Body
To me a book is not just a particular file. It’s connected with personhood. Books are really, really hard to write. They represent a kind of a summit of grappling with what one really has to say. And what I’m concerned with is when Silicon Valley looks at books, they often think of them as really differently as just data points that you can mush together. They’re divorcing books from their role in personhood. — Digital pioneer and theorist Jaron Lanier fears that the Internet might be destroying not just literature, but also the middle class.
“When I read San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle opine recently that Romeo + Juliet was “too contemptible even to be called a desecration,’ I know that he never lay in virginal bed with headphones and discman, listened to Thom Yorke utter the eternal invitation “I’ll be waiting, with a gun and a pack of sandwiches,” and just felt so much.”
Lydia Kiesling, “You Can’t Repeat the Past, Old Sport: On Leo, Baz, Gatsby, and Me.”
“Would I have carried myself with the same swagger, or faced adversity with such feminine resolve, without Albertine as my guide?…I was drawn to a striking, remote face—rendered violet on black—on a dust jacket proclaiming its author ‘a female Genet.’” Patti Smith’s favorite little-known book.
Miller’s spirit still hovers over the streets of Williamsburg, which is why it was chosen as the site for this week’s festival by the Henry Miller Memorial Library of Big Sur, Calif., where Miller lived from the 1940′s until the mid-1960s, after his long-banned masterpiece, Tropic of Cancer, was finally published in the U.S. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that the novel was not obscene and could no longer be banned. Nearly a half-century after that historic ruling, the Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge Festival has a pop-up bookstore in Williamsburg featuring Miller manuscripts, letters, watercolors, and first editions; there are also panel discussions, readings, and comedy and musical performances…All of it made me stop and wonder: Does Henry Miller deserve such fuss? — Bill Morris, “Still Merry and Bright? Rethinking Henry Miller.”
A lost journal of W. H. Auden, one of three that the poet is known to have kept, has recently been discovered.