The New Yorker on Facebook

La rinnovata pagina Facebook del New Yorker è carina! E' un modo per curiosare nella rivista mese dopo mese e anno dopo anno.  E per rivedere le barzellette, anche se spesso non si capiscono! newyorker.


David Foster Wallace

Gli amanti di David Foster Wallace possono leggere una scena inedita di The Pale King su The Millions. "Charles Lehrl grew up not in Peoria but in nearby Decatur, home of Archer Dentists Midland and Lehrl said a city of such relentless uninteresting squalor and poverty that Peorians point with genuine pride at their city's failure to be as bad as Decatur, whose air stank either of hog processing or burnt corn depending on the wind, whose patrician class distinguished itself by chewing gum with their front teeth. ..." themillions.


Radical Chic

"The expression 'radical chic' was coined by Tom Wolfe in his essay 'Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny's', published in 1970. Wolfe's satirical text deals with Leonard Bernstein's fundraising party for the Black Panther Party in his 13-room Park Avenue penthouse duplex – shortly after the shooting of the 21 year-old Black Panther-activist Fred Hampton. This is Wolfe's 'funniest and sharpest essay', as critics remark". Johan Frederik Hartle, su eurozine.
Se volete leggere l'articolo di Tom Wolfe del 1970 cliccate qui.


Che bacio!

Riporto una bellissima foto che ho trovato sul blog Nine hours of separation della traduttrice Silvia Pareschi. Si tratta di Paul Newman e Joanne Woodward, la coppia più bella e duratura di Hollywood, secondo Silvia. E sono perfettamente d'accordo. Colgo l'occasione per segnalare questo interessante blog che si occupa di traduzione e osserva l'Italia dall'America (San Francisco) e l'America dall'Italia (lago Maggiore).
Anche la mia prima lunga tappa in America è stata a San Francisco - più di trent'anni fa. Ho abitato un paio di mesi a Bush Street, in un monolocale infestato, di notte, dagli scarafaggi. E poi per due anni a Page Street. La mattina andavo a correre al Golden State Park, a volte raggiungendo la spiaggia su cui si vedevano le foche che prendevano il sole.


Edith Wharton, Again

Un altro profilo - molto interessante anche nella scrittura e nell'organizzazione, non per caso l'autrice è Francine Prose - di Edith Wharton, della sua genialità, delle sue contraddizioni. "When Edith Wharton - then Edith Jones - was a little girl, her favorite game was called 'making up.' 'Making up' involved pacing around with an open book and (before she could read) inventing and then later half reading, half inventing stories about real people, narratives that she would chant very loud and very fast. The constant pacing and shouting were important parts of the game, which (according to Wharton's memoir, A Backward Glance) had an enraptured, trance-like, slightly erotic aspect. Her parents spied on her, and it made them nervous. Edith's Old New York, old-money-society mother tried to transcribe what Edith was saying, but she spoke too fast; Mrs. Jones's anxiety increased when Edith asked her to entertain children who came to play because she was too busy making up". nybooks.


Sophie Cabot Black: una lezione di poesia

La poetessa Sophie Cabot Black discute di due sue poesie con Rebecca Foresman. Vi invito a leggere l'articolo, perché è interessante.
I’m fascinated by the way you manage to invoke the infamous Jersey turnpike with ecumenical language. Take the opening lines of the first stanza: Three miles off the interstate is whatever
Heaven might be to those who dream
Of a better return.

... these poems appeal to an element of the American psyche that stretches back to Plymouth Rock: I stake a claim in my land, defend it, grow it, and thereby steer my own destiny. It’s basic, bold tenet of the American Dream: venture capital and real estate are means for spiritual exploration and existential validation. newyorker.


Innocents Abroad. Come scrivere libri di viaggio

Come Mark Twain, possibilmente. "Twain writes simultaneously with contempt and fondness, and we're left to puzzle out what he's trying to do, and where in the mess we should stand. What he's doing, it seems, is deploying a constantly changing mix of both sincerity and irreverence, making his position on things hard to pin down". 
"I have camped with the Indians," Twain writes. "I have been on the warpath with them, taken part in the chase with them…I have roamed with them, scalped them, had them for breakfast. I would gladly eat the whole race if I had a chance." themillions.


Why Finish Books?

Ho trovato interessante, thought provoking, questo articolo di Tim Parks sul perché spesso non finisce di leggere un libro, anche se gli piace (accade anche a me), e sul perché uno scrittore spesso non finisce un libro. Le due cose sono collegate. "Kafka remarked that beyond a certain point a writer might decide to finish his or her novel at any moment, with any sentence; it really was an arbitrary question, like where to cut a piece of string, and in fact both The Castle and America are left unfinished, while The Trial is tidied away with the indecent haste of someone who has decided enough is enough. ... All these writers it seems to me, by suggesting that beyond a certain point a book might end anywhere, legitimize the notion that the reader may choose for him or herself, without detracting anything from the experience, where to bow out (of Proust’s Recherche for example, or The Magic Mountain)".nybooks.


The Urban Dictionary History of Western Literature

Urban Dictionary è un dizionario di slang composto, come wikipedia, dagli utenti. Recentemente il New York Daily News ha fatto notare che spesso gli adolescenti usano in senso traslato i nomi degli scrittori. Per esempio Kerouac, per significare: "to wander aimlessly for the giddy thrill", oppure Walt Whitman per cocaina: Whitman was known for his long poetic lines; o, ancora, Hemingway: Verb. Writing a paper under the influence of alcohol, ecc. nydailynews.


Money in Novels, Again

"Money, in novels, is such a potent reality principle that the need for it can override even our wish for a character to live happily ever after, and Wharton, throughout the book [The House of Mirth], applies the principle with relentlessness, tightening the financial screws on Lily as if the author were in league with nature at its most unforgiving". Jonathan Franzen su Edith Wharton, i soldi, la simpatia e la bellezza nei romanzi. newyorker.


Gods Without Men

Gods Without Men è il titolo dell'ultimo romanzo di Hari Kunzru, uscito ora negli USA presso Knopf. Pare sia molto bello. Ecco quel che ne dice Rollo Romig sul New Yorker, "is the kind of book that reverberates long after you finish reading it. The main story concerns a New York couple, Jaz and Lisa, who travel to the empty spaces of eastern California with their severely autistic son, Raj, and the mysterious tragedy that befalls them there. But it contains many other stories and characters besides, spanning hundreds of years, all linked by an intricate web of echoes and clues, and all of which converge, in one way or another, at Pinnacle Rocks, a seemingly mystical geological formation in the desolate heart of the Mojave Desert". newyorker.


Margaret Atwood in the Twungle

When I first started Twittering, back in 2009 ... I was, you might say, merely capering on the flower-bestrewn fringes of the Twitterwoods. All was jollity, with many a pleasantry being exchanged. True, some of those doing the exchanges represented themselves in masks, or as pairs of feet, or as rubber ducks, or as onions, or as dogs - quite a few dogs. But having had an early career in puppetry and a somewhat later phase during which I amused small children by giving voices to the salt and pepper shakers, I was aware of the fact that anything can talk if you want it to. My Twitter friends were not only sportive but helpful, informing me about Twitpic, letting me in on the secrets of acronyms such as "LMAO," [Laughing My Ass Off] analyzing the etymology and deep symbolic meaning of "squee," [adorable] and teaching me to make many an emoticon, such as the vampire face, represented thus: >:>} (Though other vampire-face options are available.) ... To this day I rely on my Twitter followers for arcane information, most recently some updates on the vernacular speech of the young. Who knew that "sick" is the new "awesome," and that "epic" is the rightful substitute for "amazing?" Twitter knew. nybooks.


Appreciation, Rivka Galchen

Il racconto di Rivka Galchen "Appeciation", uscito questa settimana sul New Yorker (e purtroppo non accessibile su Internet) e molto bello, molto divertente, e nasce da un'idea interessante - raccontare il rapporto di una madre e una figlia in termini di soldi, guadagnati, spesi, prestati, regalati... Ecco quel che dice l'autrice, intervistata da Willing Davidson. 
This story hinges on a pun, or a duality - that "appreciation" can be used in a financial as well as a kind of moral sense. What got you thinking about that? And what made you decide to describe a mother-daughter relationship through the prism of money?
I was reading a lot of Trollope, and also some Dickens, and also re-reading "Madame Bovary." (It was winter.) And all that nineteenth-century literature - often the best shorthand for plot in those novels is just to follow the money. Who has it? Who's gambled it away? Who's marrying into it? How much was spent on silk slippers? Who is surprised with an inheritance, or disinheritance? Money is the prime mover; it explains near on everything. But only near on. Sometimes it seems to fail as an explanation, to fall down into being just a description. newyorker.


P.D. James e il Proust Questionnaire

P.D. James ha 91 anni e risponde al Proust Questionnaire con un aplomb quintessenzialmente inglese: assolutamente meraviglioso:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Walking by the sea with my two daughters on a perfect summer day.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
On what occasion do you lie?
To save someone’s life, but I am grateful to say that this necessity has never arisen.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I would have liked longer legs.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Please answer the phone, someone - say I'm busy."
Where would you like to live?
Where I live now, in London.
What is your favorite occupation?
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
How would you like to die?
At a great age in my sleep.
What is your motto?
One we all had during the war years, "Keep calm and carry on." Also, "Enjoy." vanityfair.


Geografia letteraria

Mi piacciono molto le cartine, così vi propongo questa mappa letteraria, disegnata nel 1933 dal cartografo Paul M. Paine. Si chiama The Booklovers Map of America Showing Certain Landmarks of Literary Geography e mostra le città più significative dal punto di vista letterario. Luogo di nascita della letteratura, secondo l'autore, è Boston. brainpickings.


Chris Hughes New Owner of The New Republic

The newest owner of The New Republic magazine is Chris Hughes, a new-media guru who co-founded Facebook and helped to run the online organizing machine for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. ... Mr. Hughes, 28, will become publisher and the editor in chief of the magazine, and Richard Just will remain the editor. Martin Peretz, who was editor in chief from 1975 until 2010, when his title was changed to editor in chief emeritus, will become a member of the magazine's advisory board. nyt.


Roots of Style

La geniale e bizzarra stilista cubana (ora residente a nyc) Isabel Toledo ha scritto un libro, Roots of Style: Weaving Together Life, Love, and Fashion (Celebra). " ... an idiosyncratic book that, like her clothing, doesn't fit neatly into a category. Her dressmaking can be lavish or stark; stately or subversive; tactile but conceptual; demi-couture or, in the case of her recent collaborations with Payless and Target, populist. Valerie Steele, the director of the museum at FIT, has called Toledo a 'genius,' noting that she can do the kind of spatial modeling in her head that a computer does.
Toledo seems to have approached the story of her life as she would a pattern - the pattern, say, for the coat-and-dress ensemble of lemongrass wool lace that Michelle Obama wore to her husband's Inauguration". Judith Thurman, newyorker. Nella foto Isabel Toledo con il marito, Ruben Toledo, artista e illustratore.


F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Crack-Up Essays

Interessante il saggio di Patricia Hampl su The Crack-Up di Fitzgerald e la sua influenza sulla letteratura autobiografica americana, "Whitman had set American poetry on this road a few generations earlier: the voice of 'Song of Myself' belongs to a lyric essayist, contending with himself and his time, using the personal self as the representative of the national type, fusing the individual to history. And the presence of faux memoirists as narrators in American fiction - including Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, Hemingway's own Nick Adams, and before that the narrators of Huckleberry Finn and Moby-Dick - also betrays a preference for the first-person voice.
The 'Crack-Up' essays are a similar poetic project. Fitzgerald's strangled cry in them makes clear that a lyric impulse links the personal essay with poetry, even though essays are a prose form and seem to pose a chronic scourge (or companion) to their apparent kin  - narrative fiction. In fact, the essay inhabits an intermediate territory between story and poem. That may be its fundamental appeal. Tell a story and then think about it - all in the same work. theamericanscholar.


Donald Antrim, Ever Since

"Ever Since" è il titolo del racconto di Donald Antrim uscito questa settimana sul New Yorker. Parla di un party in onore della pubblicazione di un romanzo da parte di un noto scrittore. Ecco che cosa ne dice l'autore, intervistato da Deborah Treisman:
I love how you capture the party dynamics here. How true to your experience of New York literary shindigs is this one?
I really haven't been to that many literary shindigs, not in recent times, though it does seem to me that there may have been a few, far in the past, where dancing took place. Generally, those sorts of events are fairly tame, and over early. newyorker.

Evidentemente la scena mondan-letteraria di NYC è meno exciting di quel che si potrebbe credere. Oppure le grandi feste sono passate di moda. 


More Barney Rosset

Rosset nel 1958 a NYC
Interessante la lunghissima intervista al leggendario Barney Rosset, uscita sulla Paris Review. Ecco quel che dice dell'Amante di Lady Chatterley, che ha pubblicato, "I didn'’t really like it. It affronted me in certain odd ways. It was written from a very class-conscious point of view, which didn't particularly appeal to me. Lawrence's blood-and-thunder thing really did not excite me either - he regarded sex and death as mythological. The book was also about industrialization, which he detested". parisreview. E il profilo che ne fa Louisa Thomas sul Daily Beast.


Barney Rosset

Qualche giorno fa è morto, a 89 anni, Barney Rosset, il fondatore di Grove Press, un uomo coraggioso, libero e anticonformista che ha pubblicato e fatto conoscere molti scrittori controversi. "The fiery and publisher Rosset, who introduced the country to countless political and avant-garde writers and risked prison and financial ruin to release such underground classics as Tropic of Cancer and Lady Chatterley's Lover, has died ... A bon vivant who enjoyed long lunches and strong martinis, Rosset was a slightly built man with a brisk, peppery voice; and a breathless laugh, often at his own expense. His longtime editor in chief at Grove, Richard Seaver, would remember him as 'often irascible, a control freak, prone to panic attacks,' with a 'sadistic element' that shadowed his 'innate generosity.' Rosset, interviewed by The Associated Press in 1998, called himself an 'amoeba with a brain,' ever slipping into enemy territory.

Entro l'anno dovrebbe uscire presso Algonquin la sua autobiografia, dal titolo provvisorio di The Subject Was Left-Handed. wsj.