Voltaire was born François-Marie Arouet on this day in Paris, 1694. This Enlightenment writer was constantly being exiled and imprisoned for his thoughts, criticisms, and texts concerning the state of the world around him. Be it philosophy, history, or religion – he had sass for all of it. His most snarky and well-known masterpiece is Candid.
Björk Guðmundsdóttir was born on this day in Iceland, 1965. How to explain her? The tiniest girl with the biggest sound, a voice unearthly and a creative soul to match – this singer-songwriter has her fingers in many musical pies from electronica to classical, and everything in-between.
Stephen King and John Mellencamp’s musical, that’s been 13 years in the making, might finally be Broadway-bound
Also in the works: a soundtrack of the show featuring artists like Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow. http://bit.ly/SI4Onu
AC/DC released their first live album in 20 years
Holidays in Heck, P.J. O’Rourke
Grove Press: http://www.pjorourke.com/
Microscripts, Robert Walser
New Directions: http://ndbooks.com/book/microscripts
Married Love: And Other Stories, Tessa Hadley
Harper Perennial: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/books/review/married-love-stories-by-tessa-hadley.html?_r=0
My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop, Ronald Rice
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers: http://www.amazon.com/My-Bookstore-Writers-Celebrate-Favorite/dp/1579129102
Through the Window: Seventeen Essays and a Short Story, Julian Barnes
The Hunger Moon: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2010, Marge Piercy
Poems 1962-2012, Louise Glück
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/books/louise-gluck-poems-1962-2012.html
Liberation: Diaries:1970-1983, Christopher Isherwood
Harper Collins: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jun/17/liberation-isherwood-diaries-digested-read
In Motion Pictures, Elvis Costello
The Odds, The Evens
Dischord Records: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/17328-the-odds/
Instrumental Tourist, Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin
Software Records: http://stereogum.com/1198471/stream-tim-hecker-daniel-lopatin-instrumental-tourist/album-stream/
A.M. Landscapes, Takka Takka
Ernest Jenning Record Co.: http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2012/10/takka_takka_ann.html
No One Can Ever Know – The Remixes, The Twilight Sad
Fat Cat from Piccadilly: http://www.fat-cat.co.uk/site/news/the-twilight-sad-remix-album-and-tour-dates
Twelve Reasons To Die, Ghostface Killah
Soul Temple: http://www.spin.com/articles/ghostface-killah-announces-new-lp-twelve-reasons-to-die
Live at River Plate, AC/DC
Philip Roth’s advice to new novelists
“[J]ust stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself.” http://avc.lu/QUnfKr
“Folk-rock-on-the-pop-charts movement” – is this real?
“what’s so astonishing about this whole folk-rock-on-the-pop-charts movement, is how it’s happening in an environment almost entirely geared around club music” http://bit.ly/RP2JIe
Don DeLillo was born on this day in New York City, 1936. Novelist, essayist, and playwright, DeLillo is called a postmodernist though he’s not a fan of labels. He takes great pleasure and influence from things outside literature such as jazz and film; and he addresses many topics – from sports to the violence of consumerism. The man is just crazy prolific.
Duane Allman was born on this day in Nashville, 1946. He’s Gregg Allman’s older brother; and it shouldn’t be hard to figure out what southern rock/blues band those two inspired. Although the Allman Brothers would go on longer than Duane (he died in a motorcycle accident just a few years after the group came together), he will truly never be forgotten.
Authors exploring autism
“The mysteries behind autism make it an evocative topic – and ambiguity leaves room for writers to romanticize, theorize, and appropriate at will.” http://n.pr/QmXBhj
The Last Goodbye: a Shakespeare inspired musical brought to you by Jeff Buckley
“‘Suddenly I felt that across centuries you had two kindred spirits talking about the same things: love, relationships, suffering, death.'” http://bit.ly/WpVECm
“The Smith Tapes” – interviews of the counterculture stars
Howard Smith’s interviews for The Village Voice from 1969 – 1972 will be released over the course of next year. There are more than 100 interviews, some of which include John and Yoko, Frank Zappa, and Lou Reed. http://nyti.ms/S4rWj5
To e-read or to regular read, and does it matter?
Charlie Kaufman was born on this day in New York City, 1958. Kaufman is known for his quirkiness and bizarre genius as a producer and director in Hollywood. But more importantly, he is a writer responsible for such films as Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. He also wrote a sound play (a live radio experience where the actors read their lines onstage to an audience) in 2005 called “Hope Leaves The Theater.”
The “Sentimental Gentleman of Swing,” aka Tommy Dorsey, was born on this day in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, 1905. This Jazz trombonist, who also played the trumpet, was a very successful big band leader and composer who never thought much of improvisation and planned things to the T. He was also a sharp businessman and would poach musicians from other bands. Having a natural nose for talent, Dorsey supposedly discovered Frank Sinatra.
What’s in a literary name?
One reader and writer contemplates the significance of names in fiction. http://bit.ly/PRU6hq
Courtney Love and rock documentarist Brett Morgan team up to make Kurt Cobain documentary
“We’ve been trying to find the right time to put this film together and the time is now.” http://bit.ly/PVxj4n
Vonnegut, his daughter, and love
“‘How many times have you been in love?’ His answer was instantaneous, and he held up three long fingers.” http://bit.ly/UHJ2Rh
Little Prince dolls to be taken down