In our morning reading: Teju Cole and Elif Batuman on their favorite books of the year, a look at a new collection of music from Destroy All Monsters, notes on a new translation of Anna Karenina, and more.
Morning Bites: John Zorn, Great Tolstoy Characters, Previewing Upset, Blake Butler Radio Drama, and More
Thomas Lennon reads a Blake Butler radio drama, a look inside cassette culture, reviewing Tolstoy’s best characters, Charles D’Ambrosio gets reissued, and more.
Will Oldham interviews R Kelly (above) for Interview. Tolstoy had ten rules in his life. I especially like “eat little and avoid sweets.” Joaquin Phoenix in the film adaptation of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is a possibility. Everybody thanks God when they win something. When is somebody going to give praise to Cthulhu? A Romanian wonders what is up with America’s obsession with Dracula. The possible Tea Party analogy and other interesting facts about the Reagan appointed judge who ruled […]
Weekend Bites: 100 Years After Tolstoy, Yale Gives Back to the Incas, Richard Nash, Bellow’s Letters and More
At Slate: Looking at Leo Tolstoy 100 years after his death. At The Huffington Post: White people trying to make up for destroying ancient civilizations At Jewcy: An interview with Richard Nash. At Boing Boing: Somebody is really excited about the John Hodgman podcast. At The Atlantic: Sure, Harry Potter makes a ton of money, but is it the best franchise ever? At The Guardian: Saul Bellow: Letters is reviewed.
Woody Allen likes the shitty Woody Allen films. Jennifer Egan interviewed at The Rumpus. Wilson, by Daniel Clowes, is reviewed. Tolstoy and the Mormons. 20 writers to watch. T.S. Eliot and Cats. Secrets of Hitchcock’s Psycho.
Harper Perennial’s great Olive Reader blog hipped us to this article about how Russia’s forgetting about Tolstoy. Tolstoy is better appreciated in the West, academics claim, even though Western readers discovered classics such as War and Peace a good century after their Russian counterparts. Yet in Tolstoy’s native Russia, one could be forgiven for not knowing that such an important milestone in the country’s literary heritage was imminent.
“We Tolstoy virgins know that the bearded one justly perches near the top of our lifelong reading list, yet somehow the right time is never quite right to rise to the occasion.” Here’s to you, Stephen Emms of the Guardian, for not only hipping me to this wonderful phrase that by all means should not exist, but also reminding me that there was a film version of Anna Karenina starring Gretta Garbo put out in the 30’s.