Hold the Phone

January 24, 2013

What many people have long suspected, but science has just “proven” . . . reading difficult literature is good for you.


Hyperarchival Nothingness

January 22, 2013

When we go through the painstaking process of adding nothing to the archive, we might as well send stuff to the Journal of Universal Rejection. About the journal:

The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. Despite that apparent drawback, here are a number of reasons you may choose to submit to the JofUR:

–You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.

–There are no page-fees.

–You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).

–The JofUR is one-of-a-kind. merely submitting work to it may be considered a badge of honor.

–You retain complete rights to your work, and are free to resubmit to other journals even before our review process is complete.

–Decisions are often (though not always) rendered within hours of submission.

At least they’re honest. They also have a (pretty great) blog. (Thanks to Tobias for this one.)


The Flood This Time: Some 2012 Weather Links

January 17, 2013

2012, by all accounts, was the warmest year on record. Among many other responses to the disastrous 2012 (w/r/t weather) both The New Inquiry and Jacobin: A Magazine of Culture and Polemic have published some excellent pieces on climate change, disaster, and our contemporary sense of an ending. Among them are Alyssa Battistoni’s excellent, “The Flood Next Time: Life After Emergency” at Jacobin. The New Inquiry has devoted an entire issue to weather , including a nice editorial, and an essay from the incomparable Gerry Canavan, “Après Nous, le Déluge.”  (This is all also coming in the wake of this nonsense.) These magazines, along w/ my good friend Alexander Provan’s Triple Canopy, also just had a very nice writeup in The Guardian. Enjoy.


Chernobyl Hospital

January 16, 2013

Timm Seuss has some striking photographs of Chernobyl’s hospital 26 years later over at The Atlantic. Seuss also looks like one of his major projects is photography of decay and ruin. His blog/website has some really compelling stuff, including journal entries and the accompanying photographs from his two days in Chernobyl.


The Year of DFW, According to Some

January 8, 2013

Now that it’s been pointed out by Michael Moats at Fiction Advocate, I’m realizing the gaggle of David Foster Wallace-related stuff that happened in 2012. The great deal of material that has appeared this year that is in some way connected to DFW has inspired Moats to title his (incomplete . . .) encyclopedic recounting of all this stuff, the “Year of David Foster Wallace” (part 2 is here).

Matt Bucher, administrator of the wallace-l listserv, also weighed in with, “Consider the Year of David Foster Wallace.”

To be honest, however, I don’t necessarily see this trend slowing down too considerably in 2013, as, for example, DFW’s name was mentioned a number of times in Joel Lovell’s recent review-essay in The New York Times, “George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year” (a book, titled The Tenth of December, that I very much look forward to reading). Bucher also points out that that we will probably be receiving at least 4 more books that revolve in the DFW orbit in 2013.

Though posted in November, I want to draw attention to Chris Osmond also briefly reflecting on DFW’s pedagogy in his blog post, “Hideous Teachers.” Beginning another semester of SC today where my students will be reading DFW (yet again) makes me realize how valuable his writing can be in the classroom.


New Pynchon Novel

January 7, 2013

As has often been the case recently, my mother is more up on things than I am, so I was quite happy to get a link from her this morning letting me know that a new Thomas Pynchon novel has been announced. It will be titled The Bleeding Edge.


Oppenheimer on the Trinity Test

January 6, 2013

I just found this little gem today from a 1965 TV documentary, The Decision to Drop the Bomb, featuring J. Robert Oppenheimer.


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