Howling with Praise / Beckett: Poet Laureate? / Jersey Shore Literary? / Stupid Is as Stupid Does / 25 Books at a Time

August 5, 2006

Howling with Praise
Celebrating his teacher’s and mentor’s most famous work, poet Jason Shinder put together a collection of essays about Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem “Howl.” The book is entitled The Poem that Changed America: ‘Howl’ 50 Years Later. It includes a CD with a recording of the poem’s first reading. Read more.

Samuel Beckett: Millennium Poet Laureate?
“Samuel Beckett would have turned 100 this year, but in a sense he was always 100. One is almost tempted to say he was always 1,000. …No writer better deserves the title of Millennium Poet Laureate.” That’s the claim of Robert Brustein in his essay “Samuel Beckett: Millennium Poet Laureate” in the Chronicle Review.

Jersey Shore Literary?
During this month, I’m going to the Jersey Shore to witness the christening of my niece. It will be warm. Hopefully sunny. And a breeze will come off the Atlantic. All features I have associated with the Jersey shore. Literary is not one of them. Yet Suzy Hansen makes the point in her Slate essay about Richard Ford and Frederick Reiken.

Stupid Is as Stupid Does
Four days before her due date (Sept. 25), Turkish novelist Elif Shafak will go on trial for “insulting Turkishness”–a real charge under the country’s criminal code. Novelists Orhan Pamuk and Perihan Magden were also charged in separate cases. The charges in the case of these men were dropped. Shafak’s offense? Her Armenian character says: “I am the grandchild of genocide survivors who lost all their relatives in the hands of Turkish butchers in 1915.” The genocide is not fiction. It happened.
Other related
: Turkish court acquits author Perihan Magden, Interview: Elif Shafak, and Extract from The Flea Palace by Elif Shafak.

25 Books at a Time
Joe Queehan discusses his reading habits in his essay “Why I Can’t Stop Starting Books.” He wonders if he has “too long” an attention span.

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