“All weather is sin-related. Lust causes thunder, anger causes fog, and you don’t want to know what causes dew.” ―Stephen Colbert, I am America (And So Can You!)
Our friends over at Tin House published an excerpt from our new novel Nine Rabbits by Virginia Zaharieva. Check it out!
Illustrator Allen Crawford has turned Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” into a sprawling, 256-page work of art. The densely-handwritten text and illustrations intermingle in a way that’s both surprising and wholly in tune with the spirit of the poem—exuberant, rough, and wild. “Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself” is a sensational reading experience, an artifact in its own right, and a masterful tribute to the Good Gray Poet.
GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ 1927-2014
“Perhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick. Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt empty and hollow and aching.”
― Gabriel García Márquez
Your Weekly Forecast: Stephen Colbert
"I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe."
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch (via quotes-shape-us)
The Daze by Mary Ruefle
It was one of those mornings the earth seemed
not to have had any rest at all, her face dour
and unrefreshed, no particular place— subway,
park— expressed sufficient interest in present circumstances
though flowers popped up and tokens
dropped down, deep in the turnstiles. And from
the dovecots nothing was released or killed.
No one seemed to mind, though everyone noticed.
If the alphabet died— even the o collapsing, the l
a lance in its groin— what of it? The question
'krispies, flakes or loops?'— always an indicator of
attention— took a turn for the worse, though crumpets
could still be successfully toasted: machines worked,
the idiom death warmed over was in use. By noon,
postage stamps were half their width and worth
but no one stopped licking. Neutrinos passed,
undetected. Corpulent clouds formed in the sky.
Tea was served at four. When the wind blew off a shingle
or two, like hairs, and the scalp of the house began
to howl, not a roofer nailed it down. That was that.
When the moon came out and glowed like a night light
loose in its socket, no one was captious, cautious or wise,
though the toes of a few behaved strangely in bed—
they peeped out of the blankets like insects’ antennae,
then turned into periscopes scouting to see
if the daze that was morning had actually managed to doze.
"Alice heard a woman say, ‘Before I start writing I feel affectionate, interested, and frustrated. In that order. Afterwards I feel relieved, disgusted, and confused. Sometimes I don’t think it’s worth it."
Joy Williams (who will be on the faculty of this summer’s Writer’s Workshop!)
Fables and The Pedestrians: An Interview with Rachel Zucker
Leah Umansky: In a lot of ways, your writing about Manhattan reminds me of Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, a book I cherish. This is seen especially in the first fable, “The Old City.” In your book, Manhattan is also layered, as is the speaker. There is a wilderness inside her as a woman, much like Clarissa Dalloway.
You say: “ …she realized that this city, so unlike her city, was exactly like her city and/ that everyone in her city was exactly like everyone in this city/ and that they were all animals and that animals can only be animals.” (9)
Cunningham says: “ You know the story about Manhattan as a wilderness purchased for strings of beads but you find it impossible not to believe that it has always been a city; that if you dug beneath it you would find the ruins of another, older city, and then another and another…” (14)
Rachel Zucker: I read The Hours years and years ago and don’t remember anything about it except that I loved it. I’m thrilled by your comparison! I am interested in the way that Manhattan is very old and very new at the same time. Other major cities don’t feel quite like that. The European cities that I’ve been to feel much more attached to the past than New York feels to me. But New York also isn’t in love with “pop” the way I imagine Tokyo is (although I haven’t been there and might be completely wrong).