Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Present and the Past by Ivy Compton-Burnett. I’ve been a sentence fetishist since I was young, and I never imagined sentences could be both crabbed and spectacular until I discovered Compton-Burnett via this book, which is still my favorite of hers. Her prose was a major discovery for me, and I wish I could relive that first rush of weird air.
From a Dennis Cooper interview in today’s Shelf Awareness. I learned about Ivy Compton-Burnett from John Waters, and she is totally weird and awesome.
The other day I wanted to make Facebook tell that Andrew and I are engaged, so I went and changed my stuff to that on Facebook, and then something terrible happened. Apparently it checks with the other person? He’s supposed to confirm it? Like it’s any of his business? So I waited a minute and thought he’d confirm instantly, but meanwhile this status update went out that said Pamela Blankenflarp is engaged. That is not actually my last name, so ice down your retarded boner over it. Within a sliver of a second, like the babyest little fraction, someone had Liked it. I was so mad, you guys, why would you like that I am engaged just as its own fact? You don’t know to whom, what if it’s to Gary Glitter or Baba Booey? God, I didn’t mean to pick two Garys! Are they all bad?? Busey! Coleman! Indiana! Okay, I like the writer Gary Indiana. And don’t have anything against the town. I was angry at Andrew at this point, UNDERSTANDABLY, so I went to Facebook and changed my status to “widowed,” to send him a message. Then I realized I didn’t have to display any romantic relationship status at all. So I did that. Then I considered writing some thing to say it’s a joke and that I’m still an anti-marriage atheist militant feminist, and then I was like oh but no one gives a fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck, so.
"One of the ways I can tell that Patti Smith was born to be a writer is that even the saddest memories seem to fill her with joy. She talks about how after her brother died, all of his best qualities seemed to be transferred directly into her—his affable warmth, his openness. She became his walking elegy. This is not nostalgia. It is the mark of someone who understands that beauty has to do with impermanence."
Reading cast interviews. From Carolyn Seymour, who played Abby:
”I thought that Survivors was the perfect time to start introducing real feminism. I think we desperately needed a strong woman. She was indeed strong on many levels just because of what she was doing but there were other areas where she was always deferring to the men and I didn’t see why she had to do that. In those days, you see, women still had to be quiet. And that is when it showed. They cast me as a strong woman and then found that they couldn’t handle it! Yes, I know that I misbehaved, but then again we all drank hard and partied hard, it was just one of those things. In those days we did that and I don’t think that I was particularly out of order.”
She also talks about an awful costar:
"It wasn’t just the physical attributes of the man being what they were, he had a really unattractive underbelly. There was an anger in that man that I found very difficult to deal with. You didn’t see it on the screen, but it was just the comments about women and so on; he was very demeaning to us. He was very sleazy and made Lucy and me very angry."
On the two children in the show:
"I got on with them fine. The boy, however, just couldn’t act. He was treated cruelly. The whole thing was cruel. We all had enormous compassion for him but whenever he was in a scene it would take twice as long to do as any others because, for example, he used to get very scared and tended to cry a lot."
From her blog:"I have an essay collection coming out (sometime) in 2012 (probably) from Mad Norwegian Press (the kids who brought you Chicks Dig Time Lords)! … The collection will be called Six-Gun Snow White, and will contain blog material as well as talks and essays I’ve done for various projects and events. Some new pieces, too. Folklore, fairy tales, science fiction and fantasy, gender and race issues, writing craft, culture and fandom. It’s a HUGE book, containing nearly a decade of non-fiction work.”
Confused about your new Ipad? Nook? Sony Reader? Kobo? Pandigital Novel? Whatever device you own please join us at The Book Cellar as we conduct an e-reader workshop and discussion! Bring your e-reader and leave empowered with knowledge!
Salon article on black writers of high fantasy. I haven’t read either of these writers, but I’m pretty interested in reading N. K. Jemisin (Tish read her first book in the series and was really into it). She was the writer guest of honor at the ThinkGalactic con, and in one discussion I attended on the politics of fantasy she was really likeable and smart and funny.
“There’s such a variety of approach, of genre,” Link writes. “She’s a generous writer—her stories are always spilling over with other stories, bits of liveliness and mess—and she’s also bloody minded. That’s a great model.”
Aiken might be hard to categorize—not exactly fantasy, not exactly Gothic, not exactly literary. Which makes her a good fit for Small Beer, as they are forever publishing books that do not fit into tidy categories. “I put her in the same camp as Saki and John Collier,” Link continues. “She does ruthless things in a light-hearted way. Terrible things may happen to the characters in her stories, but there are also moments of marvelous invention, pockets of delight.” —Kelly Link talks to Jessa Crispin about Joan Aiken, at Kirkus Reviews
Look at that! Small Beer Press is always so great with the book covers! I’m reading their new Maureen McHugh collection right now. Her first collection for them, Mothers and other Monsters, was incredible, and so is this one, After the Apocalypse. Each story feels so fully formed within itself, a total world. And the way she uses science and tech is really interesting. I feel like she’d be the best at a dinner party, telling you all the new stuff that is happening that she read about in science journals and the spooky implications and you’d be like GET THE FUCK OUT TELL ME MORE.
"Women and fat people, and fat women specifically, are browbeaten literally from toddlerhood with the threat that if their bodies and appearances are not "good" then they will not be sexually desirable, valuable, loved—a whole spectrum of things that have been constructed as things that validate human, and especially female, worth.
The supposed erotic worthlessness and non-sexuality of fat is an enormous and enormously effective weapon that is used against women as a threat and a way to “justify” abuse. It is a way to instill fear, it’s an insult, a way to get women to police and devalue themselves, and it’s a really effective way to get women to attack other women. So both feminists and fat activists have a vested interest in taking this tremendously destructive weapon apart.” —Hanne Blank talking to Bitch about the new edition of Big Big Love
I know you know all this and I know all this but it is always good for it to be articulated again and again. If we remember our oppressions are systemic, not just these individual things we live, we’ll feel healthier and probably wear cuter clothes.