2. Wei-wu-wei: Deliberate decision not to do something. Chinese. From an online list compiled by Feedbacq.
3. Prozvonit: To call a mobile phone to have it ring once so that the other person calls back, saving the first caller money. Czech and Slovak. Allegedly.
Tuesday New Release Day
New this week: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, Carnival by Rawi Hage, In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell, Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani, the collected letters of Italo Calvino, and the seventh issue of McSweeney’s food mag Lucky Peach.
Joyce Carol Oates turned 75 years old yesterday, and she’s now writing some of the best fiction of her career.
In Virginia Woolf’s terms, Oates has put as much of her art down on the page as possible, has expressed herself completely, achieving ‘the prodigious effort of freeing whole and entire’ the work that is in her.
Nurturing eventually becomes coddling, and now it’s time to encourage that work to take a bigger stage.
How do you describe the life and times of John Horne Burns? He was in turn a military intelligence officer, a schoolteacher, a critical darling after he published The Gallery, a pariah after he published anything else, and a gay man in post-WWII America. In characteristic concision, Ernest Hemingway summed the whole thing up: “There was a fellow who wrote a fine book and then a stinking book about a prep school, and then he just blew himself up.”
Looking for a new literary podcast to fill your downtime? David Naimon’s “Between the Covers” author interview series may do the trick. The series, which appears regularly on Portland, Oregon’s KBOO 90.7 FM, is available for free on iTunes. Past guests have included Karen Russell, George Saunders, China Miéville and Junot Díaz. Forthcoming episodes will feature the likes of NoViolet Bulawayo and Jami Attenberg.