Remainders

  • Unless you’re Fran Lebowitz, endless extensions for tardy manuscripts are a thing of the past.
  • Martin Amis, that horndog, provides text to accompany the comparatively modest porn star photos in Pornoland:

    De Luigi’s photos are more demure than the text, almost avoiding the full frontal stuff, the meat and potatoes of adult films.

    The contrast between Amis’ face-first reproach and the obscure angles and gleeful kinkiness of the pictures summarize many intellectuals’ ambivalence about watching paid actors fornicating: We need to see a lot more of it to pass judgment.

    (Last item.)

  • In his regular short story column, Ken Foster argues that “U.S. publishers sometimes seem more eager to reprint U.K. successes than to take a chance launching writers of their own.”
  • From William Faulkner to Donna Tartt, several noteworthy writers have called Oxford, Mississippi home. A Kansas City Star writer surveys the city and contends that “while the courthouse may be Oxford’s geographical center, its gravitational one is Square Books.”
  • A story and a handwritten letter ascribed to Ernest Hemingway but previously unknown have surfaced eighty years after they were written and are at the center of a literary and legal dispute.
  • In other news involving legal disputes over dead writers’ papers, relatives of novelist Patrick O’Brian are launching a legal effort “to prevent his diaries – which they fear contain embarrassing details of his colourful private life – ever being published.”
  • Alain Robbe-Grillet, father of the nouveau roman, influenced Maguerite Duras and Claude Simon, among others. He spoke last week as an honouree of the 20th Alexandria Film Festival.
  • I’ve yet to read this review in the current New York Review of Books. It doubles as a consideration of the “campus novel” and mentions Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise and Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim.
  • V.S. Pritchett’s admirers have included Graham Greene, John Updike, A.S. Byatt and Martin Amis, but few contemporary readers know his work. Andrew Biswell calls Jeremy Treglown’s new biography of the writer “a pioneering and convincing attempt to rescue Pritchett from dusty obscurity.”

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