I significativi disegni di Sylvia Plath

"I had removed my patent leather shoes after a while, for they foundered badly in the sand. It pleased me to think they would be perched there on a silver log pointing out to sea, like a sort of soul-compass after I was dead". Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar. Alla Mayor Gallery di Londra, fino al 16 novembre, sono esposti i disegni di Sylvia Plath. telegraph.


Storie dei trentasei Giusti

Jonathon Keats, Il libro dell'ignoto. Storie dei trentasei Giusti (Giuntina). Traduzione di Silvia Pareschi. Ho appena finito di leggere questa raccolta di racconti straordinari che mi hanno fatto pensare e sovente mi hanno commosso. Si ricollega alla letteratura dello shtetl, ai quadri di Chagall, a quel mondo fantasioso, un po' ai margini, anche nel modo di pensare, ricco di un'umanità bizzarra che riesce però a cogliere un qualcosa, un piccolissimo frammento del mistero della vita, soprattutto nel mistero dell'amore tra un uomo e una donna. Splendida traduzione - come al solito - di Silvia Pareschi.


Miranda July and the PennySaver

Miranda July è divertente. Per tutta questa settimana il New Yorker pubblica dei brani del suo nuovo libro, It Chooses You, in uscita il 15 novembre da Sweeney's. Si tratta di interviste con persone casualmente contattate attraverso gli annunci di PennySaver, una sorta di Seconda mano. "I tell you all this so you can understand why I looked forward to Tuesdays. Tuesday was the day the PennySaver booklet was delivered. It came hidden among the coupons and other junk mail. I read it while I ate lunch, and then, because I was in no hurry to get back to not writing, I usually kept reading it straight through to the real estate ads in the back. I carefully considered each item - not as a buyer, but as a curious citizen of Los Angeles". newyorker.


A Jewish Writer in America

Bellow e la moglie Janis fotagrafati da Judith Aronson nel 1994
Lo scrittore ebreo in America è Saul Bellow, e questo è il titolo di una conferenza che ha tenuto nel 1998 e che viene ora pubblicata per la prima volta sul New York Review of Books. "So, in my first consciousness, I was, among other things, a Jew, the child of Jewish immigrants. At home our parents spoke Russian to each other, we children spoke Yiddish with them, and we spoke English with one another. At the age of four we began to read the Old Testament in Hebrew, we observed Jewish customs, some of them superstitions, and we recited prayers and blessings all day long. Because I had to memorize most of Genesis, my first consciousness was that of a cosmos, and in that cosmos I was a Jew. I suppose it would be proper to apply the word 'archaic' to such a representation of the world as I had - archaic, prehistoric. This was my 'given' and it would be idle to quarrel with it, to try to revise or efface it". nyrb.


"Occupy Wall Street" ha origini storiche

Back in the mid-17th century, when New York was still New Amsterdam and young settlers were nostalgic for a hip, authentic military citadel named Fort Amsterdam, fur traders occupied an area of southern Manhattan known as "de Waal Straat," or Wall Street.

A January 1, 1626, article published on the front page of Van Der Huffinjtön Pöst outlines the concerns of many fur-traders:

"Fur Traders Gather for Occupy De Waal Straat

Dozens of fur traders gathered in lower New Amsterdam today to protest the growing inequality between themselves and furriers. Johann Vries, a fur-trader who has worked for Bartholomeus Buskirk de Graaf's Discount Furrier since he was nine, said that he was angry about the unfair wages, disproportionately distributed wealth, and the torpor of New Amsterdam director general Peter Minuit. ..." vanityfair.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

E' il titolo dell'autobiografia, se così si può chiamare questa raccolta di vignette sulla sua vita, di Mindy Kaling, la simpatica attrice e scrittrice comica di The Office. Uscirà a giorni presso Crown Archetype. Il New Yorker intervista l'attrice:
You write in the book about some of your less positive experiences writing for “The Office.” Do you worry about what your co-writers will think?
Comedy writers have the most fragile egos. It's not that they're offended by what you say, but more that you omitted sparkling parts of their résumés. I'm used to showing everyone what I write, but this had to be more private, because, inevitably, they just wanted to see the stuff about them. newyorker.


Jill Abramson

At nine o’clock on the morning of September 6th, Jill Abramson was riding the subway uptown from her Tribeca loft. It was her first day as executive editor of the New York Times, and also the first time in the paper's hundred and sixty years that a woman's name would appear at the top of the masthead. Abramson described herself as "excited," because of the history she was about to make, and "a little nervous," because she knew that many in the newsroom feared her.
Abramson, who is fifty-seven, wore a white dress and a black cardigan with white flowers and red trim. Her usually pale complexion glowed from summer sun, but there were deep, dark lines under her eyes. ... e segue un interessante profilo della nuova direttrice del NYT e dei suoi piani di rinnovamento del giornale. Ken Auletta sul newyorker.


Starting from Happy

Starting from Happy (Scribner) è una storia d'amore - molto divertente - scritta a fumetti da Patricia Marx. Ecco quel che dice di sé e del libro l'autrice:

Starting from Happy is your first illustrated novel; your cartoons are speckled throughout its pages. Can you tell me about your process?

Oh, I am not good enough to have a process. I made a lot of mistakes, so I wasted about a rain forest of paper. I used computer paper and magic markers with thin points. My father sold stationery when I was growing up, so it kind of kills me that I have to pay for office supplies. 

Per saperne di più cliccare qui.



Twenty-five years ago, Art Spiegelman's "Maus" was published, opening a window into the depth and seriousness that comics as a form could tell. A chronicle of World War II in which the Jews are mice and the Nazis are cats, Spiegelman and his father, a Holocaust survivor, both figure in the text. After the conclusion, "Maus II," came out five years later, Spiegelman was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize.
But that was not the end of "Maus," which has been repackaged as a box set and as a single book. Now ... is "MetaMaus," a stunning hardcover book from Spiegelman about the making of "Maus," which includes a multimedia DVD. LAT.


Freethinker of the Year Award

Quest'anno è stato assegnato a Christopher Hitchens. "Mr. Hitchens was flattered by the honor, he said a few days beforehand, but also a little abashed. 'I think being an atheist is something you are, not something you do,' he explained, adding: 'I’m not sure we need to be honored. We don't need positive reinforcement. On the other hand, we do need to stick up for ourselves, especially in a place like Texas, where they have laws, I think, that if you don't believe in Jesus Christ you can’t run for sheriff". nyt.


The Thurber Prize

The Thurber Prize for American Humor viene attribuito a un libro particolarmente comico. E' un premio benemerito, rivolto a un genere di solito sottovalutato. Quest'anno è stato vinto da David Rakoff per la sua raccolta di saggi Half Empty (Anchor). In Half Empty's essays, Rakoff applies his signature wit to a range of wildly depressing subjects, including Sept. 11, AIDS and cancer.
To settle into this grim worldview, Rakoff had to transcend his "indulged, privileged" early years. "I was cursed with a very lovely childhood," he laments. nprbooks. A dir la verità gli esempi che si possono leggere nell'articolo citato sopra mi sembrano tristissimi.



Negropedia: The Assimilated Negro's Crash Course on the Modern Black Experience è il titolo del libro di Patrice Evans, pubblicato da Three River Press. Derivato da un blog molto bizzarro, The Assimilated Negro, questo libro è una raccolta di saggi divertenti e assurdi. Ecco quel che ne dice l'autore, intervistato da Jason Parham, "I pitched the book during the peak of Obama-mania, so there was a lot of that energy going around. As a writer and blogger, I felt like there was a need for a voice speaking about race without the earnestness that accompanies politics or an Oprah show". newyorker.


Ancora sul Grande Gatsby

First published in 1925, The Great Gatsby has never lost its allure. Last year "Gatz", a six-and-a-half-hour stage adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, was a sell-out hit at New York's Public Theatre. Everyone is now buzzing about Baz Luhrmann's screen remake of "Gatsby", now being filmed in Australia with Leonardo di Caprio in the title role that was once Robert Redford's [nell'immagine]. A musical adaptation of the novel is set to premiere on September 30th at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in Manhattan. Professor friends of mine tell me that no American work of literature excites their students so much as Fitzgerald’s rueful romantic taxonomy of American dreams and fantasies.

A romantic outsider, Gatsby is both admired and mistrusted. As Nick Carroway - Gatsby's tenant, new friend and the novel's narrator - tells us, rumours depict Gatsby as related to Kaiser Wilhelm, a German spy during the first world war, a bootlegger and a murderer. Outsiders like Gatsby are quintessential figures of American democracy, a system designed to welcome outsiders by elevating individual will over group affiliation. They can redeem, but they can also unsettle. Gatsby had to escape his humble origins in order to conquer society, yet in remaking his life he generated an aura of mysterious menace. Everyone attended his parties. Hardly anyone came to his funeral. 

Un bell'articolo di Lee Siegel sull'Economist.


Bloomsbury Reader

Per gli amici publishers, Bloomsbury ha creato un nuovo marchio - solo digitale - per rilanciare libri usciti dal mercato. Si chiama Bloomsbury Reader.
The imprint will focus on books where English language rights have reverted back to the authors or their estates. Actor turned author Dirk Bogarde, poet Edith Sitwell and Irish-born playwright and children's writer Bill Naughton are among the other deceased writers whose work will be revived. bbc.