“I don’t think science fiction is a very good name for it, but it’s the name that we’ve got. It is different from other kinds of writing, I suppose, so it deserves a name of its own. But where I can get prickly and combative is if I’m just called a sci-fi writer. I’m not. I’m a novelist and poet. Don’t shove me into your damn pigeonhole, where I don’t fit, because I’m all over. My tentacles are coming out of the pigeonhole in all directions.” —Ursula K. Le Guin
Read our 2013 interview with Ursula K. Le Guin, now available in its entirety online.
11:45 am • 3 December 2013 • 337 notes
The Usual Lament.
Little bird, little bird, couched in the heather,
Swearing no doubt at this changeable weather,
Sad is my heart that, come soft wind or raw gust,
I cannot shoot thee this Twelfth day of August;
Chained to the City, for sportsmen a poor land,
Vainly I dream of the scents of the moorland;
Vainly I vision the swift noisy flutter
Of wings o’er the whins as I pace by the gutter;
Vainly I dream thro’ the mists I am trekking,
Finger on trigger, ear-strained for thy kekking;
Vainly I fancy my gun’s at the shoulder,
Bang! And you topple as dead as a boulder;
Vainly, for never I’ve done any shooting,
Having spent all my life in the purlieus of Tooting.
Ah but, sweet bird, tho’ I’m not there to greet thee,
Know I shall gratefully, platefully eat thee.
Early work by P. G. Wodehouse found in Leeds newspaper archive.
11:00 am • 3 December 2013 • 98 notes
Amazon and drones. In the immortal words of Pillow Talk, “some jokes are too obvious to be funny.” Stephen Colbert disagrees. (Or maybe owls will do the trick.)
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.
10:15 am • 3 December 2013 • 34 notes
Fasten your seatbelts, it’s our Winter issue!
Interviews with Geoff Dyer and Edward P. Jones, fiction by Lydia Davis, poetry by Kevin Prufer, the first installment of a novel by Rachel Cusk, a portfolio of nudes by Chuck Close, and much more.
7:00 am • 3 December 2013 • 132 notes
“Taking risks, running losses, resisting financial pressures and compromises, Mr. Schiffrin championed the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, Günter Grass, Studs Terkel, Michel Foucault, Simone de Beauvoir, Noam Chomsky, Julio Cortázar, Marguerite Duras, Roy Medvedev, Gunnar Myrdal, George Kennan, Anita Brookner, R. D. Laing, and many others.”
RIP André Schiffrin, founder of New Press.
6:00 pm • 2 December 2013 • 148 notes
“The street is largely empty now. It is an in-between time, one of several in the course of the day, and when one turns a corner from one of the side streets onto Geary at this particular hour, the wind abruptly meets you and pushes you backward as if a stern rebuke to never entirely let slip from your mind the record of all of history’s misfortunes.”
From Wildsam’s Field Guide to San Francisco, the poet August Kleinzahler on living in the city by the bay.
5:00 pm • 2 December 2013 • 201 notes
“Every reader sees the same thing in a different way.”
— Camilo José Cela
3:50 pm • 2 December 2013 • 420 notes
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” —Edith Sitwell
3:05 pm • 2 December 2013 • 329 notes
“It could be, but not as brand-new, the SILVER CITY station in ‘COLORADO,’ a book by the American novelist LOUIS BROMFIELD!”
From Jean Le Gac’s photographic serial “The Excursion.” Each apparent vacation snapshot is supplemented with text to create novelettes “on location.” As Alexandra Anderson writes in her introduction, “Le Gac is an artist whose narrative power adds an important dimension to his artistic choices.”
2:26 pm • 2 December 2013 • 60 notes
“A nice, fat crack of thunder beat down over the building and for a moment draped the scene in a pleasant, naked tranquility. I didn’t know if we would be able to finish our job at all, and I could tell from his look that Virgil was just as worried.”
Our recap of Canto 9 of Dante’s Inferno.
1:30 pm • 2 December 2013 • 102 notes