Giorgio Agamben in Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew.

Lydia Davis, Jonathan Franzen, Paul Harding, and Justin Torres share their favorite opening lines of novels.

Contrary to Wall Street expectations, Amazon came up short on predicted second-quarter earnings last week, making $7 million less than the quarter before. But Jeff Bezos isn’t concerned. As Forbes reports, though there was a small dip in Amazon’s stock, “this kind of thing isn’t unusual for Amazon, as the company’s margins tend to be razor-thin.”

In honor of the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth in 2016 (the author died in 1990) UK publisher John Murray will be publishing a collection of his letters, edited by Dahl biographer Donald Sturrock. The letters will span Dahl’s childhood in a British boarding school to his time working for Shell in East Africa to his years “working very loosely as a spy" in Washington, D.C. to the end of his life, when he spent up to two hours a day responding to fan mail.

Elle runs at long profile of Marisha Pessl, whose book Night Film, the follow-up to her hit debut, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, will be released next month.

In light of the news that Michel Houellebecq will be starring in a movie about his own disappearance, Flavorwire rounds up nine highbrow writers who also tried their hand at acting—or at least had quick cameos in movies. Our favorites examples include Susan Sontag and Saul Bellow’s appearances in Zelig, Salman Rushdie in 2007’s Then She Found Me, and George Plimpton’s role as “an uncredited Bedouin” in Lawrence of Arabia. We’d also like to add one more: Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben as Philip the Apostle in Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew.

After having the manuscript of his debut novel rejected forty-seven times, Irish author Donal Ryan was rewarded for his perseverance last week when The Spinning Heart was longlisted for the Man Booker, Britain’s most prestigious literary award. The novel, an account of the economic recession told from the perspective of twenty-one different characters in rural Ireland, was “plucked out of the slush pile” by an intern at Dublin’s Liliput Press, which ultimately published it.

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