Remainders

  • According to the September 9 issue of Britain’s Daily Mail (not available online), Zadie Smith was to marry Nick Laird last Saturday, the 11th, “at the chapel at King’s College, Cambridge, which was the backdrop to where the couple first met at university.”
  • The Guardian digests Jonathan Coe’s The Closed Circle:

    It had never seemed odd to Benjamin Trotter that a pretty 20-year-old girl should spend so much time with a nerdy 45-year-old man. “Malvina’s fascinated by my 2,000-page unpublished novel,” he thought, as he said goodbye to his wife, Emily.

  • On the anniversary of John Gardner’s death, Rake’s Progress quotes Raymond Carver on Gardner (Carver’s one-time professor) and literary theory.
  • The lads at Yankee Pot Roast have launched a Book-of-the-Month Club designed to “encourage good, old-timey satire based upon said book (thus negating any semblance to a real book club).” This month’s victim is Nicholson Baker’s Checkpoint. Submit today.
  • Former Maxim editor Dave Itzcoff has written a memoir about his time at the magazine, of which he says, “‘Its sensibility at one time was very welcoming, and it used to celebrate the short-comings of the reader, but now it just exploits them.'” While at Maxim, “Mr. Itzkoff managed to dabble in potent drugs, interview many seemingly available starlets and drink prodigiously, but the sexual conquests that are the leitmotif of the magazine he worked at constantly eluded him. At one particularly pathetic moment, he calls an escort service, making sure to take down his Princeton diploma from the wall before the prostitute arrives.”
  • Grant Barrett, slang lexicographer extraordinaire, schools the New York Times on the origins of “izzle.”
  • The search for a migraine cure leads one woman to visit a shaman in Peru and write an “unintentionally hilarious” article in which “our heroine shares a dugout with a Chomskyite, gets stared down by a cigar-smoking 5-y-o with a Barbie purse, and has visions of meeting Walt Whitman[,] . . . . the Grandfather of Assfucking.” (All this time I thought Zeno of Citium was The Grandpa.)
  • Maureen Dowd, New York Timesjournalist” and compulsive checker of Amazon rankings, just “want[s] to get above the Swift boat guys.” I’ll leave the commentary to better minds. (Via TEV.)
  • Kitty Kelley’s controversial new book about G.W. Bush, in which allegations of cocaine use rise again, hasn’t exactly endeared her to the administration. (Also, apropos of nothing, that shot of Kelley is almost identical to photos taken of my mother during her sorority girl days. Really, down to the dye job, pointy nose, yellow-hazel eyes, and squarish jawline. It’s uncanny.)

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