1. Beat poet Gregory Corso
has made the cover of this week's Economist
. Some clever illustrator has formatted the opening of a recent Barack Obama speech about nuclear disarmament as an homage to Corso's great 1958 poem Bomb
(though I couldn't find a Gregory Corso credit anywhere in the magazine). Also, I bet you anything the Economist illustrator cribbed the layout from this LitKicks page
, though I couldn't prove this in court. Via Stop Smiling
2. Amazon.com made a really stupid decision to de-rank books with gay/lesbian content, and suffered through an Easter Sunday twitter tornado
for it. Can you imagine what our great literary legacy would look like if all gay/lesbian-related books were subtracted? Forget about it. Amazon has apologized for the "glitch", but the success of the spontaneous #amazonfail movement
on Twitter will certainly inspire other protests to come.
3. The unforgettable Beverly Cleary
just celebrated her 93rd birthday!
4. When the Flock Changed
is an excerpt from Maud Newton's
5. Jay Thompson on Marcus Aurelius and Stanley Kunitz at Kenyon Review blog
6. Mike Shatzkin on a racial showdown
at circa-1950s Doubleday.
7. Yeah, I post about John Updike a lot. More to come. Via Books Inq
On Easter and Updike
by David E. Anderson.
8. The Onion on Beckett
9. Bill Ectric attempts to singlehandedly resurrect the career of Charles Wadsworth Camp
, author (and father of Madeleine L'Engle).
10. A celebration of the chapbook
11. Carolyn Kellogg on John Fante
12. City Lights (a bookstore that would never de-rank books with gay/lesbian content) has published Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds
, the record of a creative writing program for "juvenile detention facilities, homeless shelters, inner-city schools and centers for newly arrived immigrants" (more here
13. Okay, real quick, here are a few things I don't like about The Beats: A Graphic History
by Harvey Pekar, Paul Buhle and Ed Piskor. Pekar's drawings are rather ugly; I yearn instead for the affectionate emotional shadings of Robert Crumb. The section on Jack Kerouac seems to be based on a close reading of Ellis Amburn's biography Subterranean Kerouac
, the only major biography that claims to find closeted homosexuality at the center of Kerouac's life and work. As I wrote when Amburn's book was published
, this interpretation really doesn't illuminate the work very well at all. Conversely, the biographical section on Allen Ginsberg all but ignores the crisis Ginsberg endured as a child when his mother went insane, which actually does illuminate the poet's work considerably. The book also suffers from chronological problems and all-out mistakes, as when the book claims that the Jewish Torah is equivalent to the Christian Old Testament (actually the Torah is only the first five books, the books of Moses). However, The Beats: A Graphic History
does have some excellent material on lesser-known Beats towards the end.
14. What the hell is up with a cheezy-looking book called City of Glass
(by Cassandra Clare)? We already had a perfectly good City of Glass