1. Gucci Mane — who is currently out on bail and awaiting a competency hearing tied to some reckless driving charges — has tattooed an ice cream cone on his face. And if you look closely, it says “Brrr.” [via The Hairpin]
2. In case you care about such things, the first image… Read More
We’ve always known that J.D. Salinger didn’t want film adaptations made of his books. But now we (sort of) know why. In a 1953 letter to aspiring filmmaker Hubert Cornfield, in response to inquiry about Catcher in the Rye, Salinger wrote, ”I appreciate and respect your ardor, but for the present I see my novel as a novel and only as a novel.” The note is now up for sale at University Archives, for the low, low price of $22,500. We will say this: for a famously prickly and reclusive writer, it’s a very gracious rejection. Take a look after the jump.
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A “vintage” toilet without a seat or lid from the Cornish, New Hampshire home where literary recluse J.D. Salinger lived in the ’80s is being auctioned on eBay for a “buy it now” price of $1 million. According to the rather gauche and extremely exclamatory listing:
“When he died, his wife inherited… Read More
Yesterday, we pored over Slate staffers’ wonderful, diverse, and irreverent list of books they recommend students read before starting college in the fall. Their picks ranged from Saul Bellow to Joseph Mitchell to Zadie Smith… and an essential tome on how to brew your own beer. After adding some of their suggestions to our own to-read list, we got to thinking about the authors that you really need to read before you set off for college, that halfway house to adulthood — the writers whose work is too wide-eyed, precocious, idealistic, dramatic, drug-fueled, or otherwise youthful to fully appreciate once you’re holding down a 9-to-5 and paying rent. They aren’t necessarily “childish” writers but simply legends you might hate if you’ve never looked at them with a teenager’s eyes. We suggest that those of you with only a month left until you move into the dorms get started now.
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A few years back, when Denis Johnson refused to do press for his novel Tree of Smoke, which went on to win the National Book Award, it was considered newsworthy. (Note: He has since vowed “to learn how to interact with people.”) But in an age where widespread self-promotion (and in many cases, oversharing) is just 140 characters away, the idea of a reclusive author seems both counter-intuitive and strangely romantic. Inspired by Harper Lee’s recent chocolate-fueled assault by a British tabloid reporter, we decided to examine why a few authors of a certain age chose to shut themselves away from the media, and in some cases, from publication and society, as well.
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Yesterday Susan Orlean cataloged some of her all-time favorite books on Twitter using the hashtag #booksthatchangedmyworld, and it took off into a trending topic that still has major momentum. “At a moment when the publishing world is having profound self-esteem problems, when writers are worrying whether they need to learn programming code in order to keep pace with wherever it is that book publishing is going, it is marvelous to be reminded that it is still all about stories, and about feeling that something you read changed the way you look at life,” Orlean told The Book Bench. Click through for her full list of must-reads, and if you plan to get in on the action, be sure to tweet your selections @flavorpill.
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1. Like many great shows before it (Jon & Kate Plus 8, The Half Ton Virgin) Sarah Palin’s eight-episode reality series, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, will be airing on TLC. [via Vulture]
2. The Black Lips are busy at work on their fifth studio album, which could be out by late summer or early… Read More
The Millions recently posted the very Shteyngart-y opening passage of Gary Shteyngart’s forthcoming novel, Super Sad True Love Story.
“Today I’ve made a major decision: I am never going to die. Others will die around me. They will be nullified. Nothing of their personality will remain. The light switch will be turned off.”
It got us thinking about our own favorite beginnings, both recent and classic. Below are some favorites from our bookshelf. Feel free to add your own picks in the comments section.
1. Slumberland by Paul Beatty
Best commentary on “post-blackness” considering Obama wasn’t even president when the book was written:
“You would think they’d be used to me by now. I mean don’t they know that after fourteen hundred years the charade of blackness is over? That we blacks, the once eternally hip, the people who were as right now as Greenwich Mean Time, are, as of today, as yesterday as stone tools, the velocipede, and the paper straw all rolled into one? The Negro is now officially human. Everyone, even the British, says so.”
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1. A record exec from Taylor Swift‘s label tries to defend her lackluster Grammy duet with Stevie Nicks, and only makes things worse. [via ArtsBeat]
2. Why was Martin Scorsese‘s new Leonardo DiCaprio thriller Shelter Island pushed back to the dead of winter? [via E!]
3. The dates for the fifth… Read More
When J.D. Salinger died last week at the age of 91, the Twitter- and the literatti aligned to mourn the reclusive writer. Charles McGrath wrote a touching obit in the New York Times; Lillian Ross waxed poetic in The New Yorker and Bret Easton Ellis, tweeted, “Yeah!! Thank God he’s finally dead. I’ve been waiting for this day for-fucking-ever. Party tonight!!!” Ah, the Twitterverse, where Chilon of Sparta’s maxim “Don’t speak ill of the dead” doesn’t apply, as long as you can do it in under 140 characters. We turned to the Twitterverse to see how other luminaries, literary and decidedly unliterary, marked Salinger’s passing*.
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