Quantcast

The End of Oulipo?

The End of Oulipo? My book (co-authored with Lauren Elkin), published by Zero Books. Available everywhere. Order it from Amazon, or find it in bookstores nationwide. The End of Oulipo

Lady Chatterley’s Brother

Lady Chatterley's Brother. The first ebook in the new TQC Long Essays series, Lady Chatterley's Brothercalled “an exciting new project” by Chad Post of Open Letter and Three Percent. Why can't Nicholson Baker write about sex? And why can Javier Marias? We investigate why porn is a dead end, and why seduction paves the way for the sex writing of the future. Read an excerpt.

Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and direct from this site:


Translate This Book!

Ever wonder what English is missing? Called "a fascinating Life Perecread" by The New Yorker, Translate This Book! brings together over 40 of the top translators, publishers, and authors to tell us what books need to be published in English. Get it on Kindle.

For low prices on Las Vegas shows visit LasVegas.ShowTickets.com

You Say

Group Reads

The Tunnel

Fall Read: The Tunnel by William H. Gass

A group read of the book that either "engenders awe and despair" or "[goads] the reader with obscenity and bigotry," or both. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Naked Singularity

Summer Read: A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava

Fans of Gaddis, Pynchon, DeLillo: A group read of the book that went from Xlibris to the University of Chicago Press. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Life Perec

Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec

Starting March 2011, read the greatest novel from an experimental master. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Last Samurai

Fall Read: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

A group read of one of the '00s most-lauded postmodern novels. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Tale of Genji

The Summer of Genji

Two great online lit magazines team up to read a mammoth court drama, the world's first novel.

Your Face Tomorrow

Your Face This Spring

A 3-month read of Javier Marias' mammoth book Your Face Tomorrow

Shop though these links = Support this site


Ten Memorable Quotes from William Gaddis’ Letters

New Books
Here are ten of my favorite moments from these hugely interesting letters.


Interviews from Conversational Reading

New Books
See this page for interviews with leading authors, translators, publishers, and more.


  • A Treatise on Shelling Beans by Wiesław Myśliwski March 9, 2014
    A man enters a house and asks to buy some beans, but we aren’t given his question, only the response: humble surprise from the narrator and an invitation inside. This modesty, though it remains at the core of the narrator throughout, is quickly overwhelmed when his questions, his welcoming explanations, flow into an effort to tell his whole life story, from […]
  • The Gorgeous Nothings by Emily Dickinson, edited by Marta Werner and Jen Bervin March 9, 2014
    The Gorgeous Nothings, the dedicated work of visual artist Jen Bervin and author Marta Werner, presents in large format the first full-color publication of all fifty-two of Emily Dickinson’s envelope writings. As such, it opens up an aspect of her craft that suggests she was, in the so-called late ecstatic period of her career, experimenting with creating te […]
  • The Mehlis Report by Rabee Jaber March 9, 2014
    The Mehlis Report follows the architect Saman Yarid on his daily perambulations around Lebanon's capital, where his memories of the city's past and his observations of the high-rises that have emerged from the ruins of the nation's civil war dominate the faint plot. But the book transcends Beirut: Jaber writes about what is left behind when pe […]
  • The Fiddler of Driskill Hill by David Middleton March 9, 2014
    Middleton’s sensibility as poet and man is thoroughly Christian, Southern (or rather, Louisianan), and traditional, but he’s no unreconstructed romantic Rebel reliving the Civil War. His manner is meditative and elegiac, not rancorous or redneck. In a rare useful blurb on the back of the book, the North Carolina poet and novelist Fred Chappell describes Midd […]
  • The Fata Morgana Books by Jonathan Littell March 9, 2014
    After The Kindly Ones, the nine hundred-page long Goncourt Prize-winning “autobiography” of a Nazi, fans of the Franco-American writer Jonathan Littell may heave an inward sigh of relief at the sight of The Fata Morgana Books. A slim collection of “studies” (as some of these stories were called in their original French incarnations), The Fata Morgana Books n […]
  • Novelty: A History of the New by Michael North March 9, 2014
    There is no better way to ensure the early demise of a form or a style than to proclaim its newness; fewer epithets are as old as “new.” A well-known work by Italian artist Maurizio Nannucci reads, “All art has been contemporary”—we may wish to amend it, for present purposes, and have it read, “All art has been new.” Yet surely this is something of a truism. […]
  • A Life Among Invented Characters: A Tribute to Mavis Gallant March 9, 2014
    Two things immediately come to mind when remembering Mavis Gallant: her unique sense of humor—stories always told with a wry half-smile—and her near-comical stonewalling when confronted with leading questions about her craft in interviews and with audiences. The first time I was in her simple three-room apartment on rue Jean Ferrandi, a mere three blocks fro […]
  • The Guy Davenport Reader March 9, 2014
    Poet-critic. Think of that word, made of two—what a beaux construction. The first is wild, hair mussed, looking at a bird in a tree—yet the follower is practical, urbane, and seemingly obeisant to word counts. Together they bleach out the fusspot academic and appeal to logos—Davenport once said that he was “not writing for scholars or critics, but for people […]
  • [SIC] by Davis Schneiderman March 9, 2014
    In 2011 Andrew Gallix, in the Guardian, wrote a piece on unread difficult books, and mentioned “an anthology of blank books [edited by Michael Gibbs] entitled All Or Nothing,” and we can consider Blank as continuing that line. Kenneth Goldsmith’s prefatory essay “Why Conceptual Writing? Why Now?” in Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing (201 […]
  • The Ben Marcus Interview March 9, 2014
    I do tend to generate a lot of pages when I’m drafting something, and I cut as I go. I make strange noises out of my face, on the page, and they are for the most part not worth keeping. Some of the stories don’t take shape until I overwrite and pursue every cursed dead-end I can think of, which clarifies everything I don’t want the story to become. But I don […]

Editor of Harper's Out

The NYT offers competing information as to whether Harper’s editor Rodger Hodge stepped down or was dismissed, but either way he’s been replaced by managing editor Ellen Rosenbush.

This information piqued my interest since I’ve perceived a decline in quality at Harper’s since longtime editor Lewis Lapham quit in 2006. I’ve been a subscriber for a while now (it’s hard not to when they practically give it away and let you have access to 100+ years of archives with a subscription), and there just haven’t been that many stories that have a) grabbed me; or b) felt like they were really that essential. If anything, the blog has been the site of Harper’s most consistently interesting political reporting of late, and whoever decided to give it to Scott Horton (whose piece “The Guantánamo ‘Suicides’: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle” is essential reading) made a great choice.

In terms of the book coverage, there have been some nice pieces; see, for instance, “Ways of not seeing: On the limits of design fetishism” by Mark Kingwell, or about anything Wyatt Mason has written for Harper’s recently. But there have also been some downright disappointing and/or bizarre inclusions; Dave Hickey’s essay on Reborn, Susan Sontag’s diaries, stands out as bizarre, and Francine Prose’s literary criticism has been distinctly lackluster. And I’ve long been mystified as to why they keep publishing William H. Gass’s pocket biographies of great authors instead of actual criticism.

But anyway, here’s to change and some hopes that Harper’s starts hitting the high note a little more often.

You Might Also Like:

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. NYRB Editor on Andrey Platonov NYRB Classics editor Edwin Frank discusses Platanov’s The Foundation Pit at the NYRB Classics blog. Much of Frank’s post deals with the language of...
  2. Sara Nelson Laid Off as Editor of PW The New York Observer discusses PW’s surprising layoff of Sara Nelson: The New York Times reports the astonishing news that Sara Nelson, the editor-in-chief of...
  3. Translations So, we know that it’s pretty dang hard to get your work translated into English; unless you’re a pretty major author you’ll just be ignored....
  4. Be Careful We now have proof (little did we need it) that Gaddis can induce insanity. Any yet, Wyatt Mason looks like such a calm person. ...
  5. More Mason on Franzen I’m really liking what Wyatt Mason is doing with his Franzen/Wood discussion, but I do wish he’d just give it to us in a single...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

2 comments to Editor of Harper's Out

  • Travis Kurowski

    I have to say that I kind of wonder if Hodge’s rumored dismissal has something to do with the searing editorial he opened the latest issue of the magazine with. Though Harper’s editorial introductions are known to be polemical in the extreme, this was even, I think, a bit outside the ballpark of tradition. Among other things, he likens Obama to Dick Cheney. The piece was off putting, not in its slant or subject exactly, but because it read as a smear without any evidence to back it up. Even Lapham would hoist out the occasional fact or anecdotal bit.

    Just a thought…

  • admin

    Travis,

    That’s a fair question. Though I think dismissal over just that would be a little extreme, I have had people make similar comments to me on that particular editorial. Of course, you could look at it the other way and say Hodge saw what was coming and wanted to go out in a blaze.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>