I'm back. Thanks Mr. Kaplan, your services in help of the delusionally toothless will be rewarded with something from the Maggot Store! Maybe a statue or a lunch bag. No, I'm not recovered by any means. In fact, the dentist extended my work-from-home diagnosis by an additional week in order that it might hopefully speed the healing. He didn't forbid me from scouring the internet looking for items of interest to pass along to all of you good folks. Tell me, though, do these things I'm posting about today make as much sense to someone not bubbling under the delusion that Percocet should be given a prettier name? Like, maybe, Percietta. I like Percietta. Darcocet could be Delia.
Here are the items, enjoy:
A massive collection of letters from an assorted lot of historical figures was recently found in a filing cabinet in some Swiss laundry room. Along with letters on various subjects from Winston Churchill, Peter the Great, Mahatma Gandhi, Alexander Pushkin, John Donne and Queen Elizabeth, there's one written by Ernest Hemingway to Ezra Pound explaining why bulls are better than critics:
Bulls don't run reviews. Bulls of 25 don't marry old women of 55 and expect to be invited to dinner.
Bulls do not get you cited as co-respondent in Society divorce trials. Bulls don't borrow money. Bulls are edible after they have been killed.
Atlanta's Creative Loafing dares interview (and includes the audio) crazy man writer Jack Pendarvis, an Atlantian these days but originally from down Mobile way, about his very good new collection of stories Your Body Is Changing:
While pursuing his literary aspirations, Pendarvis threw out the rules for good writing for his novella "The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure," which became the centerpiece of the collection of the same name. "I was frustrated with not getting published, so I decided, for that story, to do everything they say not to do. They say, 'No adverbs' – I'm going to put adverbs in almost every sentence." He indulged in excessive use of quotation marks and exclamation points, and never used the word "said" when he could come up with a useless alternative like "blurted." He also defied most literary magazines' standard request for "No simultaneous submissions," and started sending out 20 copies of his stories at a time.
And he started getting published.
It looks like the band of writer-musicians, the Rock Bottom Remainders, is expanding a little bit. I can't tell from the photo if they've finally figured out how to make a musical instrument out of Mitch Albom's ears.
A burned page of Faulkner's poetry manuscript: part of The New Yorker's too brief image portfolio from the Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin. You can also read D.T. Max's article about the Ransom Center and its archivist Tom Staley here:
During Staley’s two decades in the job, he has bought nearly a hundred literary collections—including papers of Jorge Luis Borges, John Osborne, Julian Barnes, Arthur Miller, Tom Stoppard, Penelope Fitzgerald, John Fowles, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Don DeLillo—and, as he moves toward retirement, his buys are getting bigger. In 2003, Texas bought the Watergate papers of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein for five million dollars. (A sealed file revealing the then secret identity of Deep Throat, Mark Felt, was deposited at a trustee’s office in Washington.) In 2005, Staley paid two and a half million dollars for the collection of Norman Mailer, which included twenty-five thousand of Mailer’s letters, along with the identification tags of his late poodle, Tibo. The archive—weighing twenty thousand pounds in all—came to the center in a tractor trailer. The New York book dealer Glenn Horowitz, who brokered the two deals, says of Staley, “He’s looking for projects that have a culminating quality to them.”
A few weeks ago I mentioned that Jerri Hall, Mick Jagger's ex, plans on making her poetry debut in a few weeks at a UK literary festival. Apparently, she's been giving sneak previews. Here's a little something about her ex-hubbie:
He is a hollow hyperbole/ the crowd plays him like a flute/ the crowd lives out their fantasy/ through his mirror door they see/ an image of the person/ they wish that they could be/ he fucks their women/ and fights their battles against mediocrity/ but when he comes home to me/ all that's left is Vd.
I'm one of those people who hates hearing songs by his favorite band(s) used in television commercials and whose opinion of said band(s) often takes a big turn downward once he does hear the advertisement. Well, now I have to face the sad reality that one of my all-time favorites has, well, ican'tevensayit.