Dale Peck famously wrote that Rick Moody was the “worst writer of his generation.” Tonight, they share the stage at the Austrian Cultural Forum. Things may still get a little bit contentious, but that seems appropriate, given their discussion topic: Thomas Bernhard. Joining them to discuss the brilliantly bilious Austrian author will be translators Susan Bernofsky and Carol Brown Janeway.
Notes on Cairo’s Tahrir Square’s recent book fair: “Indeed these [revolutionary] events don’t just happen. . . . It’s writing that pushed the people out [on to the streets] and vice versa.”
The Pale King, David Foster Wallace’s posthumously published unfinished novel, has already absorbed a few news cycles, and it hasn’t even been "officially released" yet (though you can buy it online, and it has been on sale at many stores for more than a week now). The latest flurry of outrage and breathless commentary has erupted following a New Yorker essay by Wallace’s friend Jonathan Franzen (in an odd twist, you have to “like” the New Yorker on Facebook to read it, or be a digital subscriber). Franzen writes: “I loved a person who was mentally ill. The depressed person then killed himself, in a way calculated to inflict maximum pain on those he loved most, and we who loved him were left feeling angry and betrayed. . . . A literary establishment that had never so much as short-listed one of his books for a national prize now united to declare him a lost national treasure.”