Christopher Hitchens on Philip Larkin, the "impossible man.”
In The Guardian Elif Batuman writes about a recent trip to New York, in which she attends the NBCC award ceremony, hangs out with Jonathan Franzen, and reflects on life as a newly-minted bestselling author: “I noticed a while ago that many writers of my acquaintance tended to leave the country after a successful first book. I didn't understand this at first, but now I do. Moving abroad lets you keep, in some degree, an aesthetics of bewilderment.”
Penguin art director Paul Buckley discusses seventy-five years of great cover art.
This weekend, McNally Jackson Books hosts two international Spanish language literature events: Tonight, editor Ilan Stavans will lead a multilingual reading of The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry, featuring verse from sixteen countries. On Sunday, the SoHo store presents “Building Bridges: Editors in Translation/Writers Being Translated,” featuring American editors and writers from Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile discussing the challenges of translation projects.
At McSweeney’s, Miles Kahn offers “My Pitches for Future Christian Holiday Animated Films,” including Advent-ture!, which answers the question: “Ever wonder what an Advent calendar does when no one is around?”