This September, at the Judson Memorial Church in NYC, a site-specific performance based on Milton Rokeach’s Three Christs of Ypsilanti.
More information at Peculiar Works Project.
Notes from NYRB Classics
When, later, I turned in the whole manuscript [for Totempole], the head of the company said it was unfit to print. Today that could not happen; we’ve come quite a way. The manuscript was rejected by more than thirty publishers, and after it was finally published…there was only one copy in the New York Public Library—in a reading room.
—Sanford Friedman, during a panel discussion with Edmund White, Allen Ginsburg, Samuel R. Delany, and Michael Warner in 1993. The transcript of the entire discussion can be read in the collection, Queer Representations: Reading Lives, Reading Cultures, which was edited by Michael Duberman.
During the Q+A that follows the panel, Friedman mentions the novel he was working on at the time but would never publish before he died—a “novel about Beethoven.” That novel, Conversations with Beethoven, will made its world debut as an NYRB Classic on September 2, 2014, alongside the NYRB Classics reissue of Friedman’s Totempole.
I lived the life of a young ignoramus, chasing pigeons and playing leapfrog with the sons of the house serfs. And so I reached the age of sixteen. Then my life changed.
—Alexander Pushkin, from the first chapter of The Captain’s Daughter, which went on sale yesterday.
Dr. Mendel wisely does not speak about curbing caffeine intake, but he has some advice for ferreting out of a patient
THE TRUTH ABOUT ALCOHOL
Alcohol consumption is another question which tends to embarrass, and to which underestimates are usually given. If you guess that a patient is a heavy drinker, you say “How many bottles of Scotch do you drink in a day?,” and the patient replies “Only one doctor.” If you had asked him if he was a social, moderate or heavy drinker, he would have said moderate. True consumption is usually twice what the patient says, plus half what the spouse says, divided by two.
—David Mendel, Proper Doctoring
This entry into the Classics and Coffee Club comes with a delightfully detailed note: “A nice hot cup of Fortnum & Mason Costa Rica Reservation San Bosco dark roast and essential reading for the junior Doctor to be.”
If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.
The wonder of Conversations with Beethoven, then, is that each of us must determine its import according to our reading of the words, as Friedman has imagined them, of those who within its pages dare to address the aging, irritable, and eventually hospitalized Maestro…. The confounding but entirely convincing procession of these voices can evidently be accounted for by Friedman’s early dramatic commitment: perhaps only someone who has written “seven full-length plays” when hardly out of adolescence could have made the voices of his final literary creation so identifiable, so musical without footnotes.
—Richard Howard, from the introduction to Conversations with Beethoven
Totempole is an unusual gay novel: It isn’t about life in the closet, and it isn’t about coming out. It’s about the space in between those two stages of gay life, a complex and murky area that has not often been written about: coming out to oneself.
—Peter Cameron, from the afterword to Totempole
The Rabbit House -
Have you read The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson? I think I read it last winter. Here’s an illustration of the cunning Katri and her yellow-eyed, wild nameless dog, (and the rabbit house too of course).
Art inspired by The True Deceiver. Should we be disappointed or relieved that we can’t see Katri Kling’s calculating yellow eyes?
We Recommend: The Long Ships by Frans Bengtsson (ebook available)
"This is one of the greatest adventure novels ever written. Viking raiders plunder Europe, searching for treasure. Swords! Sails! Battles! Adventure!"
Thanks Word bookstores! You can plunder our treasure any time.
It took me three weeks to read [Life and Fate] and three weeks to recover from the experience, during which time I could barely breathe.
Even if the last NYRB Classic you read didn’t change your life, you can still send a photo of it, posed with a cup of coffee or tea to this address, and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.
Morel’s Invention, the film adaptation of Adolfo Bioy Casares’s The Invention of Morel, and The 10th Victim, based on the story “Seventh Victim” in Store of the Worlds: The Stories of Robert Sheckley, will play at the Film Society of Lincoln Center tomorrow (Wednesday, August 27) as a part of their “Strange Lands: International Sci-Fi” series.
Emidio Greco’s 1974 film Morel’s Invention will screen first, at 7 p.m., followed by Elio Petri’s 1965 The 10th Victim, which will begin at 9:20 p.m.
For more information, visit the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s website. Photos Courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
200 years ago today, Shelley and his entourage find their Lake Lucerne digs not up to snuff and “flit” without paying the bill:
On Friday, 26 August , a mere three days after their arrival on the lake, they suddenly decided that they had had enough. Arguing through the afternoon, as the rain fell miserably on the waters below them, they decided first to go over the St Gothard, and finally, quite abruptly, to return to England and London. They could manage it, Shelley calculated, if they took the risk of travelling by the ‘water-diligence’ used mostly by local peasants, merchants and students, down the length of the Rhine to a Channel port. The next morning, the 27th, they flitted from Brunnen at dawn on the first boat available, having packed their bags and omitted to inform or pay their landlord, and gazed back on the receding shore ironically imagining ‘the astonishment of the good people of Brunnen’. ‘Most laughable to think’, as Jane put it, ‘of our going to England the second day after we entered a new house for six months — All because the stove don’t suit.’
—Richard Holmes, Shelley: The Pursuit
Our devoted blog follower, whose blog is The Red Shoes, sent in this cosy photo with a pun that we will spare you (unless you really want to know)*
Have you a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea? By all means send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.
*She asks: “Does Shelley suffer a tea change?”
The hobo stood up cautiously and edged around the fire. He watched the cartomancer warily. Nuts can blow their tops easy—and this one still held a can of hot coffee.
—William Lindsey Gresham, Nightmare Alley
The person who sent in this photo of Nightmare Alley, borrowed from her local library, (along with a cup of “tea ordinaire”—not a can of hobo coffee, to be perfectly honest) writes, “Hope it’s got a happy ending.” She’s kidding, right?
And as always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.
Check out this great poster for tonight’s Augustus-themed event from host McNally Jackson Books. Daniel Mendelsohn and Adrian Goldsworthy will be discussing the life of Augustus and John William’s eponymously titled novel at the store at 7 PM. We’re excited about this one…
Uni: “Jebus, what a vicious, sick-funny, barbed little knife this book is. Kingsley—father of Martin, of course—shares the sordid tale of Sir Roy Vandervane, well into his middle years who falls smitten with a 17-year old anti-Establishment punk-hippy from hell. Vandervane himself, a…
It’s Friday, let’s see what the cats are reading…