Edmund Wilson was a friend [Vladimir] Nabokov shared with many people in American literary circles—including Dorothy Parker. Wilson had first learned about Nabokov's Lolita in the summer of 1953, when he was contemplating an article about Nabokov and asked the novelist whether he had a new project in the works.... A year later, Nabokov offered to let Wilson read his new novel, which he said he considered "to be my best thing in English."
In November, while in New York talking to Straus about his own projects, Wilson got the Lolita manuscript and was a bit less discreet than Nabokov would have wanted.
--How Edmund Wilson may have leaked the plot
of Nabokov's Lolita
to Dorothy Parker, who then published in the New Yorker
a story titled "Lolita," about a middle-aged man in love with a teenage girl, three weeks before the novel came out.
posted by Cash4Lead
on Nov 23, 2013 -
If you truly would like to hear this story, first of all you will probably want to find out where I was born, how I spent my stupid childhood, what my parents did before my birth—in a word, all that David Copperfield rot. But truthfully speaking, I don’t have any urge to delve into that. "If Holden Caulfield Spoke Russian" (SLNYer)
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Sep 16, 2013 -
The Turn Against Nabokov [newyorker.com]
"The author, whose novels thrum with ironic recurrences, might have been perversely pleased with this: thirty-six years after his death and twenty-two years after the fall of the Soviet Union with all its khudsovets, Vladimir Nabokov is, once again, controversial."
posted by Fizz
on Feb 28, 2013 -
“What I’m about to show you,” he says, “you can’t tell a soul about it. If you did, it would be major trouble. Trouble with a capital ‘T.’ ” He sips his drink and tugs the quilt away.Shirley Temple Three
Mawmaw takes a step back. She’s looking at some kind of elephant. With hair.
“Don’t worry. She’s not dangerous,” Tommy says. “Bread Island Dwarf Mammoth. The last wild one lived about ten thousand years ago. They’re the smallest mammoths that ever existed. Cute, isn’t she?”
The mammoth is waist high, with a pelt of dirty-blond fur that hangs in tangled draggles to the dirt. Its tusks, white and pristine, curve out and up. The forehead is high and knobby and covered in a darker fur. The trunk probes the ground for God-knows-what and then curls back into itself like a jelly roll.
“What’s a goshdern Bread Island Dwarf Whatever doing in my yard?” Mawmaw asks.
by Thomas Pierce
posted by y2karl
on Dec 18, 2012 -
All told, Updike has published more than a million words on books. ... In Picked-up Pieces (1975), Updike’s second collection of essays, he lists his rules for reviewing... Without coyness, Updike renders a stern judgment based on telling quotation. He builds toward his findings in plain sight, earning him an authority that is based on his presentation of a plausible case. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Dec 11, 2011 -
Devadasi are women in southeastern India who were dedicated in their youth to the goddess Yellamma. When they reach puberty they are forced into sex work. Once they were women of high status, but now they've been relegated to the outskirts of society. The devadasi practice goes back a long way in history, and was once celebrated in poetry. When God Is a Customer
, a collection of translated classical Telugu poems about the devadasi, is free to read online. Their modern life is described by William Dalrymple in The New Yorker
and in a video interview with filmmaker Beeban Kidron
which includes clips from her documentary Sex, Death and the Gods. The devadasi have been targeted by exploitative Western media for a long time, but have recently started to hit back
, using the internet
to disseminate their views.
posted by Kattullus
on Jan 22, 2011 -
was a New York poet, even though he lived less than half of his 40 years in the city. He grew up in Grafton, MA, was a sonarman in WWII and roomed with Edward Gorey at Harvard before moving to the city he would forever be associated with. Naturally, there was am article on him
in The New Yorker a couple of years ago. We're lucky enough to have a number of videos
of O'Hara, including a reading of the lovely "Having a Coke with You
. There's also quite a bit of audio
of him, and I can't but recommend this mp3 of John Ashbery, Alfred Leslie, Bill Berkson and Michelle Elligott reminiscing about O'Hara
at the MOMA, where he worked. And there are quite a few
of his poems
, as well as five of the poem-paintings
he did with Norman Bluhm
. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Feb 15, 2010 -
A man, just back from a trip abroad, went to an incompetent fortune-teller.
He asked about his family, and the fortune-teller replied: "Everyone is fine, especially your father." When the man objected that his father had been dead for ten years, the reply came: "You have no clue who your real father is."--that's one of the jokes from The Laughter Lover (Philogelos),
an ancient Greek joke book published in the 4th or 5th century AD. The New Yorker commented on it, and other old jokes here,
stating about one of the possible authors: ... there is some scholarly speculation that the Hierocles in question was a fifth-century Alexandrian philosopher of that name who was once publicly flogged in Constantinople for paganism, which, as one classicist has observed, “might have given him a taste for mordant wit.”
posted by amberglow
on Jul 10, 2004 -
Back in the time of which I am speaking,
due to our Coordinators had mandated us, we had all seen that educational video of "It's Yours to Do With What You Like!" in which teens like ourselfs speak on the healthy benefits of getting off by oneself and doing what one feels like in terms of self-touching, which what we learned from that
video was, there is nothing wrong with self-touching, because love is a mystery but the mechanics of love need not be, so go off alone, see what is up, with you and your relation to your own gonads, and the main thing is, just have fun, feeling no shame!"
posted by semmi
on Jan 22, 2003 -