Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday List of Links

As I'm lilting along in the calm between two enormous, high-energy events (Barbara Walters last night, James Frey tonight), I think I'll keep today's post short and pointless:
  • Critic Wyatt Mason has started a blog called Sentences at the Harper's site. The posts are smart and very literary. I doubt he'll be able to keep up this kind of word count on a daily basis, but so far, it's one of the most intellectually stimulating blogs on the net (after just two days). Does that sound like a backhanded complement? It isn't.
  • Don't look now, but Nam Le is getting the full-on Charles Bock treatment with a rave review from Michiko Kakutani followed by a profile in the Times. "Like most of the other details in “The Boat” (Alfred A. Knopf), his collection that came out Tuesday, they were pulled from assiduous research he did from a fungus-plagued farmhouse in Iowa City, his home for two years while at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop." Hey, I've been to that fungus-plagued farmhouse! Cool. Hopefully, we'll all be spared the Gawker backlash that Bock was subjected to.
  • Books that will make you a man. I really dig the images they found for each of the books, although, judging by this list, I'm not terribly manly (haven't gotten around to the Plutarch's Lives yet...go ahead, mock my ignorance), and any manliness I currently possess, I acquired in the 8th grade (A Separate Peace? Please.).
  • Robert Rauschenberg passed away this week. I'm not going to say much about the man or his work (What it does it matter what some jackass with a bookstore blog thinks?), but I will say that seeing a retrospective of his at the Centre Georges Pompidou was one of the highlights of my honeymoon in Paris. I was ignorant of all the work he'd done in dance, and to see even film and video of his work with the Merce Cunningham company was revelatory. I'll also say this -- I'd like to bring back this look:

It's smart, youthful, spare, neat without seeming overly fastidious. I wish I looked like this. Of course I also go through periods where I'd kill to look like Sam Shepard in Days of Heaven, so go figure.

  • Willy Vlautin will be at Vroman's tomorrow night to read from his new book Northline. He'll also be playing some songs on his guitar. To get you in the mood, I located this rare You Tube footage of Willy in action:
If he's this good while playing in the "work center" of a Sheraton hotel room, imagine how ass-kicking he'll be in the Vroman's event space. A reading and a concert. How can you miss it?

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At 10:23 AM, Blogger L said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger L said...

Oh, man! Willy Vlautin was ass-kicking, indeed! It was awesome. And inspiring, too. (Made me want to dig my old Taylor guitar out of the closet and get to work.)


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