At the LARB, Scott Korb interviews Rosie Schaap, who offers up a theory that bars and churches are both a kind of “sanctified space.” To get more insight, you could also check out her Rumpus interview, or even go watch her mix cocktails (above) with Kurt Andersen of NPR. (You could also just go buy her book.)
“There is always something lost, or exchanged, when the imagined world evoked by the written word, unique for every reader, is replaced by a provided set of visual references. In this particular case, the artist is faced with translating the unbelievable, even the metaphysical, into visual imagery, and within a relatively constrained form.” Jenna Brager on Hope Larson’s graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time.
Yes, tonight The Rumpus (& snotty-nosed kid-sister The Rumblr) descend on Williamsburg to tear shit up.
8PM + PUBLIC ASSEMBLY
(70 North 6th Street Brooklyn NY 11211)
- Comedy by Eugene Mirman
- A live rendition of Conversations With Writers Braver Than Me featuring Sari Botton and Melissa Febos
- Readings by Jami Attenberg, Rick Moody, and Jenny Zhang
- Music by Mike Doughty
- A screening of “Mr. Gracie,” a five minute movie based on Happy Baby
- A one hour DJ set by K.Flay
Get your favorite writers’ autographs! Give your humble Rumblrers a hug! (Or a hearty handshake.) Drink a drank! Start a dance party!
This was 1985 — not the Anthony Burgess novel, the year (Anthony Burgess wrote so many books you might have to make that specification about a number of words or phrases — “On going to bed, I read ninety-nine novels — no, I mean I really did go to bed and read ninety-nine novels!”). I was dropping out of college and had begun a novel and returned to New York. A bookstore in Manhattan announced a rare reading and signing by Anthony Burgess, a primary hero of mine at the time, for his autodidact’s erudition and braggadocio, and for how he’d gentrified a number of outre genres just by picking them up and mingling them with his erudition and braggadocio.
For decades, LDS Church leaders have worked to mainstream the LDS faith, and with the nation on the verge of potentially electing the first Mormon president, coupled with the rising influence of the church in the cultural and political landscape of America, some have dubbed this period the ‘Mormon Moment.’ Universities have even experienced a burgeoning interest in Mormon Studies. Such attention, however, is a doubled-edged sword, forcing the LDS Church to respond to controversial issues from its past, such as its history of polygamy, denying priesthood authority to black males until 1978, and the on-going debate about Mormonism’s status as a traditional Christian faith. Predating all of these controversies, however, is the debate about the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon itself.
Hip Figures begins and ends with the 2008 election of Barack Obama—a landmark moment in the politics of race and hipness alike. In ideological terms, however, Szalay notes that Obama shares many points of affinity with his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton; like Clinton, he observes, Obama embodies a brand of neoliberal hip—with the obvious additional advantage of actually being our first black president, thereby claiming the laurel Toni Morrison famously bestowed on Clinton in 1998.
“Experience will tell us the use of ‘they,’ ‘their,’ and ‘them’ to refer to those of unknown gender has always been a common feature of English, especially when spoken aloud. […] But our average ancestral grammarian was not generous. He was an ordinary sexist with control issues, if we want to psychoanalyze the amount of energy, outrage and certitude he and his brethren put into the proscription against ‘he or she’ and singular ‘they.’”
-Dana Levin, “Who Is Who: Pronouns, Gender, and Merging Selves”
PHILLIP MACIAK on AMC’s Mad Men.Image courtesy AMC
Toward the end of “Tomorrowland,” the final episode of the fourth season of AMC’s Mad Men, Don Draper (the girl-, booze-, and epiphany-hound played to the nines by Jon Hamm) gazes with rapt wonder into the eyes of his newest lover. Something of a cut-to-the-chase lothario until this point, Draper’s googly candor is a bit surprising as he lays his heart on the bedsheet. “Did you ever think,” he says, “of the number of things that had to happen for me to get to know you? But everything happened, and it got me here. What does that mean?” Hamm utters these lines in the kind of tremulous whisper-shout normally reserved for stoners commenting on double rainbows. But it’s not just love that has Draper so high, or at least not only love. Don Draper, in this scene, is amazed by the sheer happenstance complexity of the events leading up to this new relationship. In the context of Draper’s life, it’s a romantic speech about the magical workings of fate. In the context of Mad Men, however, it’s a romantic speech about the magical workings, and plottings, of serial television.
Mad Men, in addition to being an abundantly detailed, almost classically composed piece of historical fiction and a genuinely ambivalent critique of consumer culture, is also an intriguing meditation on narrative itself.
Another 100,000 Galleys
This exploration of the stigma of self publishing is really great, if you’re looking for some weekend reading.
The famous Library at Alexandria, at its largest, housed perhaps as many as 500,000 scrolls, or the equivalent of some 25,000 books. A quaint number: ten years ago, we were publishing, in the U.S., around ten times that a year. Now, we publish that many every two and a half days.
Anyone with access to a networked computer can publish a book, or ten, or a hundred. Anyone with 500 bucks can see their book into print, and the novel that once would have lived its entire live in a drawer is now more likely to be downloadable. A manuscript that might never have found a home in the twentieth century, certainly not at a “legitimate” publisher as they were called, can now, with very little effort, be ordered online, printed in a run of one, and mailed to a buyer in a matter of hours. We used to call them vanity presses, the companies that helped people publish books not wanted by the traditional, commercial publishing world; now such companies are more often touted as the new business model.
We plan to run a series of pieces on the evolving book world, from independent solo ventures to micro publishers to small presses to the new mini-majors to the Big Six and the 600-pound gorilla. Getting us started is Joseph Peschel, a freelance journalist from South Dakota. He interviews a wide variety of people who have self-published, some happily, some less so, some unworried by the stigma, some with their hands bloody, some embarrassed, some victorious.
— Tom Lutz
Editors, reviewers, and even many authors believe that if you self-publish, you’re branded a sinner of sorts. You wear a scarlet S-P, signifying that you can’t get published because your work is inferior. If you promote your own work on the Internet, you must sheepishly precede the phrase “self-promotion” with “shameless.” It’s difficult to quantify the extent of the stigma, but we all know that publishing your own work has been frowned upon by writers for decades. Recently, genre authors Amanda Hocking (who writes young adult vampire novels) and John Locke (pulp thrillers) have had so much success independently publishing and selling hundreds of thousands of their own books that you’d think the self-publishing wall would’ve been kicked down and lying in a crumbled mess by now. But the stigma attached to publishing, promoting, and selling your own written word persists. Most writers, like Susan Shapiro, who’s written for the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and has conventionally published eight books, including comic novels and nonfiction through St. Martin’s Press and Delacorte, remain convinced that it’s better to get a mainstream publisher. Shapiro, who’s helped hundreds of her students get published, recently told me she would consider self-publishing, but only “if everybody else turned me down.”
No one ever faulted Woody Allen, Orson Welles, Quentin Tarantino, or Charlie Chaplin for writing, directing, and producing their own movies. No one disrespects musicians for distributing their music without a major label behind them. And poets — think of Walt Whitman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and the authors of contemporary poetry chapbooks — have long been used to publishing their own work. Why then should independent publishing be regarded any differently? Especially when even established writers, in today’s traditional publication market, can have difficulty getting their publishers and agents behind a book? A slumping economy has pushed already-teetering bookstores into bankruptcy, further squeezed publishers’ profits, and reduced and in some cases eliminated book review space.