Friday miscellany

Friday, January 28, 2011

A few random thoughts on body, mind, and the spaces we inhabit.

  • After a recent re-reading of Philip Lopate’s essay, “Portrait of My Body,” (Anchor, 1996) I was especially amused by this self-portrait by Colin Nissan in McSweeney’s. Compare and contrast.
  • Amazon is now selling “Singles” for the Kindle, short stories and nonfiction from 5,000-30,000 words. The Millions editor C. Max Magee writes, “Bottom line: Amazon is fishing for higher quality content at the low price points that Amazon readers have come to crave.” So much to read, so little time. If Amazon Singles increase distribution of the best possible material without the purchase of a subscription or an entire anthology, that could be good news. We will see.
  • The Paris Review offers free online access to decades of past interviews. I especially enjoy this interview of Raymond Carver from 1983. The interviewer meets Carver in the nondescript Syracuse home he shared with Tess Gallagher. He writes:

Carver works in a large room on the top floor. The surface of the long oak desk is clear; his typewriter is set to the side, on an L-shaped wing. There are no knicknacks, charms, or toys of any kind on Carver's desk. He is not a collector or a man prone to mementos and nostalgia….Both he and Gallagher are from Washington state and at the time of the interview, they were having a house built in Port Angeles, where they plan to live part of each year. We asked Carver if that house would feel more like a home to him. He replied, “No, wherever I am is fine. This is fine.”

I hope you have a fine Friday wherever you are.