Annie Cohen-Solal, Leo and His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli (Knopf). Annie Cohen-Solal "inventories the artists who at some point showed there [alla galleria di Leo Castelli] beginning in 1957, when Castelli, at the age of 49, converted his daughter's bedroom into a gallery. There were Rauschenberg and Johns, of course, and Lichtenstein and Warhol, but also Frank Stella, Cy Twombly, John Chamberlain, James Rosenquist, Donald Judd, Christo, Robert Morris, Joseph Kosuth, Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra, Ed Ruscha, Claes Oldenburg, Ellsworth Kelly, Julian Schnabel, David Salle. The list, a virtual syllabus of American art after the '50s. slate. (Nella foto Leo Castelli e Jasper Johns nel 1966.)

Tre libri sul silenzio, sul
I ricchi sono ritornati, e spendono come matti. Daniel Gross, slate.

Chi era Charles Dickens? Robert Gottlieb, nyrb.


Columbia University Press ha annunciato che il prossimo anno pubblicherà un testo inedito di David Foster Wallace, Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will. Si tratta della tesi scritta da Wallace in filosofia ad Amherst College, curata da Steven M. Cahn e Maureen Eckert. cup.


La recensione del 9 maggio scorso di Trials of the Diaspora. A History of Anti-Semitism in England (OUP), di Anthony Julius da parte di Harold Bloom (nytbr) ha suscitato molte lettere critiche da parte dei lettori, tra cui anche James Wood. Il nytbr della scorsa domenica ne pubblica alcune. Le critiche più frequenti riguardano l'equiparazione da parte di Bloom di anti-sionismo e anti-semitismo e la sua discussione di personaggi anti-semiti in Shakespeare, Dickens, Fitzgerald e Hemingway.

Oxford University Press ha lanciato O.B.O., una nuova bibliografia online, compilata da esperti in modo selettivo, non comprensivo. Ars Technica e Chronicle of Higher Education l'hanno definita l'"anti-Google" (e si potrebbe dire anche l'anti-Wiki).


Eric Hobsbawm, "My Days as a Jazz Critic". "I owe my years as a jazz reporter to John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, which made the British cultural establishment of the mid-1950s take notice of a music so evidently dear to the new and talented Angry Young Men. When, needing some money, I saw that Kingsley Amis wrote in the Observer on a subject about which he obviously knew no more and possibly less than I did, I called a friend at the New Statesman. He arranged a meeting with the editor, Kingsley Martin, then at the peak of his glory, who said 'Why not?', explained that he conceived his typical reader as a male civil servant in his forties, and passed me on to the commander of the (cultural) back half of the mag, the formidable Janet Adam Smith. Her interests ranged from mountaineering to poetry, but did not include jazz. As 'Francis Newton' (named after a Communist jazz trumpeter who played on Billie Holiday’s 'Strange Fruit'), I wrote a column every month or so for the New Statesman for about ten years." LRB.


Ad Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Q: In your new book, Nomad: From Islam to America, you urge American Christians to try to talk to American Muslims about the limitations of their faith. A: We who don’t want radical Islam to spread must compete with the agents of radical Islam. I want to see what would happen if Christians, feminists and Enlightenment thinkers were to start proselytizing in the Muslim community. Q: That could be dangerous for the proselytizers. A: It may be, but in the United States we have a police force and the rule of law; we can’t just say something is dangerous and abstain from competing in the marketplace of ideas. nytmag.


Stewart Pollens, Stradivari (Cambridge UP). Highly illustrated, the book contains over 100 black and white photographs of Stradivari’s workshop materials, and colour photographs of 16 important Stradivari instruments • Includes fascinating biographical and historical information, and a step-by-step account of how Stradivari made his violins, making it appealing to enthusiasts as well as academics • Chapters are divided by instrument types, making it easy for the reader to locate information. cup.


Ad Aharon Appelfeld, uno scrittore che amo molto. "Q: Have you ever felt that you have exhausted this subject or period -- the period of the Holocaust -- or that you might want to write about another period of your life? A: I write about ideas. It's not memoir, it's not history, it's not psychology, it's about the human being in the world, all of the good and the bad that a person encounters in life. This is what I have written 40 books about. I have written books that take place in Israel, and I have written about other periods, not just about the period of the war. Also about other times in Jewish history. I don't write history, or memoirs of the Holocaust. Of course, in the Holocaust, many horrible things happened. So many "interesting" things. Take the case of a boy living with a prostitute. This doesn't happen every day. And if I myself hadn't lived with a prostitute, I couldn't have written the book. Things like this couldn't have happened in regular times." haaretz.


Bernd Heinrich, The Nesting Season: Cuckoos, Cuckolds, and the Invention of Monogamy (Harvard UP). Il sesso tra gli uccelli. Da leggere la bella intervista all'autore: "So are birds more biologically inclined to have sex with multiple partners than to be monogamous? Well, you have to talk about individual species. With most birds, the couples break up after the breeding cycle and often re-pair at the next breeding cycle. But that may only be a consequence of them coming back to the same nest site. If somebody else shows up, they'll mate with them instead. And some birds are not at all polyamorous. Ravens, for example, stay in pairs year round. That's unusual."salon.


Una serie di articoli sulla trasformazione di New York: "Gentrification and Its Discontents. Manhattan never was what we think it was", di Benjamin Schwarz, theatlantic. "Life in New York, Then and Now", di John Podhoretz, commentary, che parla soprattutto dell'Upper West Side diventato "the most affluent shtetl the world has ever seen. One doesn’t walk a block without seeing a yarmulke; the three conservative synagogues are alive and buzzing with congregants; the neighborhood’s gans, day schools, and yeshivas are educating some 4,000 children; a dozen kosher restaurants and two kosher supermarkets profitably serve an increasingly observant community. This is genuine urban renewal, which rose from once-rank soil after the soil was, finally, properly tended and tilled and brought once again to life." E infine l'editoriale di oggi di David Brooks, "Children of the '70s", nyt.


Quants: the quants are the experts in mathematics, physics and computer science who brought sophisticated quantitative approaches to the world of Wall Street. Ne parla diffusamente Scott Patterson, nel suo libro The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It (Crown). nytmag.


The Letters of T. S. Eliot, Volume Two: 1923–1925, a cura di Valerie Eliot e Hugh Haughton (Faber). Al centro delle lettere di questo periodo c'è Waste Land, ma anche Bertrand Russell e la vita matrimoniale. TLS. (nella foto T.S. Eliot e Virginia Woolf)

Jonathan Alter, The Promise. President Obama, Year One (Simon & Schuster). Lucida analisi del primo anno dell'amministrazione Obama.

Jonathan Eig, Get Capone. The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster (Simon & Schuster). Un Capone umanizzato. wp.

Terry Eagleton, On Evil (Yale UP). I cattivi in letteratura. bg.


L'articolo di Ingrid D. Rowland sulla situazione politica italiana, che inizia così, "The Italians have a one-syllable word, an interjection, that means 'I don’t know': 'Boh.' And 'Boh' is probably the only credible commentary anyone can make right now about the country’s political situation." nybooks.


Nel 1959, in A House on the Heights, Truman Capote scriveva, "I live in Brooklyn. By choice. Those ignorant of its allures are entitled to wonder why." Capote ha vissuto in un appartamento di un palazzo di Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights dal 1955 al 1965 (v. foto). Ora questo palazzo è in vendita per 18 milioni di dollari. Il palazzo ha diciotto camere, undici caminetti, e un giardino dove Capote faceva le sue famose feste e dove ha scritto Breakfast at Tiffany’s e In Cold Blood. newyorker.


"Free Fruit For Young Widows", la bella storia - così ebraica - di Nathan Englander sul New Yorker. E, sempre sul New Yorker l'intervista all'autore, sulla genesi di questo racconto (I will pretty much get on a plane to anywhere in the world if it’s to do an event with the Israeli writer Etgar Keret (and, yes, the little boy in the story is named after him). So about a year and a half ago, I flew to Rome to give a talk with Etgar, and, a nice surprise, there in the first row of the audience was an Italian friend of mine. After the talk, we ended up on the roof of her building telling stories for hours. One of those stories was about Etgar’s father, and matching uniforms, and the Sinai Campaign) e altro.



"Martin, Maggie, and Me", un brano del memoriale di Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir (Twelve), che uscirà i primi di giugno. vanityfair.

E, sempre su vanityfair, Christopher Hitchens che risponde al Proust Questionnaire. Un assaggio: Your favorite occupation? Travel in contested territory. Hard-working writing and reading when safely home, in the knowledge that an amusing friend is later coming to dinner. What word or expression do you most overuse? Re-reading a collection of my stuff, I was rather startled to find that it was “perhaps.” (Nella foto: Christopher Hitchens, James Fenton, e Martin Amis al Sacré-Coeur di Parigi nel 1979.)


Andrew O'Hagan, The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his friend Marilyn Monroe (Faber). Marrilyn Monroe vista da Maf, il cagnolino regalatole da Frank Sinatra. "Andrew O'Hagan has taken on the voice of a dog to write a subtle, funny and moving study of America on the eve of one of its periods of greatest crisis." John Banville, g/o.

Andrea Levy, The Long Song (FS&G). Romanzo storico sulla straordinaria vita di una donna del Diciannovesimo secolo, schiava in Giamaica . wp.

Sebastian Junger, War (Twelve). Junger, corrispondente di guerra per Vanity Fair, parla degli uomini mandati in prima linea in guerra. wp.

Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad. Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (Norton). Sulla questione dell'adesione al nazismo di Heidegger. nytbr.


Marilynne Robinson, Absence of Mind (Yale UP). In this ambitious book, acclaimed writer Marilynne Robinson applies her astute intellect to some of the most vexing topics in the history of human thought—science, religion, and consciousness. yaleup.
L'intervista a Marilynne Robinson, in cui la scrittrice parla di religione, insegnamento, scrittura. pbs.


Tom Rachman, The Imperfectionists (The Dial Press). "This first novel by Tom Rachman, a London-born journalist who has lived and worked all over the world, is so good I had to read it twice simply to figure out how he pulled it off.... it takes place in Rome. The characters are, for the most part, the staff of an unnamed English-­language newspaper founded in the 1950s — for reasons not revealed until the end — by an eccentric American businessman with the perfect name of Cyrus Ott. By 2004, his grandson, Oliver, will be in charge of the fates of the staff members whose stories make up the novel. More’s the pity, since Oliver’s only concern in life is for his basset hound, Schopenhauer. nytbr.

Scott Turow, Innocent (Grand Central). "All of which makes for an intelligent, thoughtful novel: a grownup book for grownup readers. It is marred somewhat by the narrative device Turow has chosen. The individual voices of Rusty, Nat and (less frequently) Anna tell Rusty's side of the story, while an omniscient narrator tells Tommy's. This means more or less constant gear-shifting on the reader's part, made all the more puzzling because all the voices sound more or less like . . . Scott Turow. He is always a pleasure to read and sometimes an education as well, but at times here he gets in his own -- and the reader's -- way." Jonathan Yardley, wp.

Eli Horowitz and Mac Barnett, Clock (McSweeney's). (v. foto) "...is a house-shaped board book chock full of mystery, humor and stunning artwork... The mystery takes place in an urban apartment building where detective Roy Dodge and his assistant Gus Twintig, who also serves as the narrator, have been summoned to interview a dozen eccentric residents as they investigate the theft of 12 emerald-encrusted numbers from the tower clock's face. sfc.

Mark Pendergrast, Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). "... tells the story of the EIS and of the men and women who served as investigators in its ranks and helped bring about some of the biggest medical triumphs of the last century."

Why men don't read books, di Laura Miller. salon.