Okay, the National Book Awards are not quite the Oscars—no one is likely to do a one-arm push up at them—but their 2009 awards ceremony is this Wednesday and it’s an exciting line-up this year. Archives of many authors in the running either interviewing or being interviewed are up at the BOMB Magazine website. A.M. Homes talking to Jayne Anne Philips. Francine Prose and Lydia Davis. Nick Flynn and Carl Phillips. Etc.
Lana Turner is here:
Wyndham Lewis’s BLAST and Robert Bly’s The Sixties are respected but distant models (very distant in the case of BLAST) for this new annual magazine, Lana Turner (whose subtitle in fact echoes that of The Sixties). The editors don’t aspire to the powerful salience in the magazine that the aggressive and brilliant Bly and Lewis enjoyed in theirs; but neither will we always remain behind the curtains, affecting to be nowhere in the vicinity. Now and again, we’ll step out.
“Publish or Perish” from Guernica—Kiel Johnson on the web press.
McSweeney’s publisher Eli Horowitz says,
Reading a literary journal is not like eating your vegetables. We’re not doing this so it can be preserved in a museum while people actually enjoy movies, television and video games.
The new Rattapallax DVD is out, the magazine’s 15th issue. Rattapallax is like a combination of Wholphin and McSweeney’s, or Poetry and YouTube, or some mixture of all these. Whichever, I highly recommend the William Blake & Sao Paulo hybrid fantasy created by Guilherme Marcondes. Hell, the video for Billy Collins’s “Forgetfullness” is pretty damn good, too. (Scroll down after jump for videos.)
Just how much did Salman Rushdie have to do with Alex Clark’s resignation from Granta? (Nothing at all, according to him.)
And, with Philip Gourevitch leaving, L Magazine asks, “So Now Who’s Going to Run The Paris Review?”
Ann Donald uses Stephen King to make her argument for supporting literary journals in the Times of South Africa, offering:
The people who publish and edit these journals are as passionate about writing and books as the people who submit their work for publication. They provide writers with a community to assuage the loneliness of writing.
Finally, always working to assuage loneliness, ZYZZYVA celebrates its 25th birthday with what it does best: publishing new authors. Editor/Publisher Howard Junker sums up the lot: “They begin with AIDS and end with a mythic L.A…The word fuck is used, when appropriate, in 15 stories.”