Ghosts

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1. A favorite baseball player of mine died last week.

2. Here's a fun literary site that's been making the rounds: police sketches based on descriptions of fictional characters, by Brian Joseph Davis. I'm particularly impressed by his Emma Bovary and Humbert Humbert, but I sense subconscious influence in the Daisy Buchanan: this sketch does not have the requisite bright ecstatic smile, and looks exactly like Mia Farrow in the movie.

3. Katy Perry says her song Firework was directly inspired by Jack Kerouac's On The Road. I still don't like the song but this helps a little.

4. Celebrated British novelist Martin Amis doesn't seem to want anybody to know this, but back in the 1980s he wrote an illustrated book about video games.

5. After cartoonist Bill Griffith described his encounter with artist Marcel Duchamp in a Litkicks interview, we got linked up by two Duchamp websites. I'm impressed. I didn't even know there were two Duchamp websites.

6. Cormac McCarthy is even meaner to mules than Mitt Romney is to dogs.

7. Unique: A Life Unhappening is a ballet about Alzheimer's disease, created by Adam E. and Chelsea Stone.

8. Gorgeous: Malika Favre explores cover designs for the Kama Sutra.

9. Every once in a while some inspired person creates a new hyperfictional meta-interactive storytelling mechanism. And I never know what to do with it, except invite you to check it out if you want. Here's Plot Hinge: Serial Novels Shaped By The Real World.

10. Filmmaker Philip Kaufman (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) is directing an HBO biopic about Ernest Hemingway and his wife Martha Gellhorn, to premiere this May.

11. Two worthy musings from the mind of Bill Ectric: on Frankenstein, and three intrepid travelers.

12. Who remembers a novelist named James Kirkwood? As a kid in the 1970s, I used to see his books around, and ended up reading and enjoying his breezy, hip and casually gay novels P. S. Your Cat is Dead, There Must Be a Pony and Some Kind of Hero (which was made into a mostly heterosexual movie starring Richard Pryor and Margot Kidder). He also wrote the book for the musical A Chorus Line, and died of AIDS in 1989. I had completely forgotten about James Kirkwood, but he's the subject of a new biography, Ponies & Rainbows: The Life of James Kirkwood by Sean Egan.

13. How do you translate the ghostly geographical prose of W. G. Sebald into film? Grant Gee is giving it a try.

14. Tao Lin tells what happened when his entrepreneur father went to jail for stock-price manipulations.

15. Video artist Wyatt Hodgson speeds up the classic Godfrey Reggio film Koyaanisqatsi.

16. "Occupy Jean-Jacques Rousseau" at the New York Public Library.

17. Intrepid Blogger Determines Ice Cube's Good Day: January 20, 1992. I remember that being a pretty good day too.

18. Portlandia is my new favorite TV show. Is Portland Really Like Portlandia? Apparently it is.

19. David Dobbs explores the war-mind of General Sherman.

20. This is a book conference I participated in. I don't know why I'm in so many of these photos.

21. Remembering Hunter S. Thompson, the writer, not the caricature. Sounds like a good idea to me.

22. Mashups: Impossible architecture..

23. Here are the fifty most quoted lines of poetry in the English language, computed via Google counts.

24. The great indie publisher Barney Rosset, founder of Grove Press and Evergreen Review, has died.

3 Responses to "Ghosts"

by Alan on

The one book that needs to be resurrected by James Kirkwood is the one that never gets mentioned when he’s discussed. That is, he wrote the definitive account of one of the most bizarre chapters in the JFK Conspiracy sideshow, called American Grotesque. It is a blow by blow account, embellished with his own sense of outrage and violation, of the trial of Clay Shaw, the New Orleans businessman who was brought up on conspiracy charges for the murder of President Kennedy by the District Attorney Jim Garrison, the godfather of all conspiracy theorists. The book offers both a frightening glimpse at the players in the conspiracy sideshow and a psychological study of the author who, as far as I recall, never mentioned, until after the book was published, that he was close personal friends with Shaw.

We need more people like Barney Rosset in the industry, willing to take a chance, cultivate new writers, and push boundaries.

by Bill_Ectric on

Alan, that's good information about James Kirkwood, thanks. I'm definitely going to read American Grotesque. I looked for it at my public library online, but they don't have it. Amazon has a hardcover edition for $69.00, but they also have a bunch of used ones at very reasonable prices. This morning I ordered a used copy for 5 bucks! After seeing the film JFK, I felt that Clay Shaw was treated unfairly. I guess now I'll go home and make some etouffee.

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