Interview with Ben Miller, author of RIVER BEND...
The Center for Documentary Studies (where I work!) and The Hinge Literary Center are pleased to be bringing the essayist Ben Miller to Durham on the occasion of publishing his moving, sharp, and funny memoir-in-essays, River Bend Chronicle. The book is a path-breaking amalgam of the lyric essay and the documentary impulse, portraying the life of a boy in Davenport, Iowa, growing up in a very...
My Soldier in Gideon's Army
The love of my life is a career public defender. During the 16 years I’ve known her, she’s defended countless numbers of people who can’t afford an attorney, most of them vastly overcharged by law enforcement because there’s no incentive against it and because the pressure on defendants to plead guilty is enormous. She takes phone calls all day and sometimes into the night from clients and...
Surrealism Made Fresh by Sanford Schwartz | The... →
Untitled: Email from a Middle-Class Straight White... →
youngjeanlee: So, I’ve been thinking a lot about your questions regarding straight white male privilege. They were on my mind this morning when I stopped at the general store (we still have them down here) for my cigarettes. I went into the little store just a second or two behind an African-American man who I…
Zoe Heller on Rushdie
I will be forever grateful to Zoe Heller for this passage in her recent review of Rushdie’s 3rd-person, “de Gaulle-like” memoir, Joseph Anton: “Rushdie’s shuddering hauteur at this moment may strike the reader as a bit rich, coming from a man who spends much of his memoir recalling encounters with pop stars, Playboy bunnies, and “hot” pop-star girlfriends in the...
The OA on Elizabeth Spencer and Marlene Dietrich
The Oxford American on the great Elizabeth Spencer
My New Oxford American Essay
I’ve got an essay, “Begin Again: The Anxiety of Influence,” coming out in the new music issues of the Oxford American. (This will be new editor Roger Hodge’s first issue.) A taste from the middle of the essay, including reference to Treme, Pantera, Harry Connick with a broken nose, bounce, and Lafcadio Hearn: Preservation implies categorization, otherwise we’d...
Memory of Big Water
I’ve been reading about Hurricane Sandy obsessively. I’ve been worried about my friends in New York, about its impact on the election, and when I catch myself thinking about those things, I think: What the hell is the matter with you? I had vowed not to think like this ever again, at least not for long, and to fight the instinct to reduce another person’s disaster into...
Among the Freeloaders
An essential part of the right-wing base’s thinking about the 47% is not merely that they think they’re freeloaders, which they do. Just as importantly, the movement rightists, whose rhetoric Romney was parroting during that fundraiser, believe that freeloaders vote Democratic. In their view, bluntly, the extension of government services to Americans is the way Democrats buy votes,...
If you wait until you got time to write a novel, or time to write a story, or...– Harry Crews
Still Aways Away
On Trains, Writing, and Early 80s Power Pop You were a kid back then, in the early 1980s, maybe you had some rock posters, Queen and AC/DC possibly, and your folks listened to that old bluegrass and hummed hymns after church on Sundays. The territory of your childhood seemed old, dark, inscrutable and therefore forgettable. It was something to resist. You flipped on the college radio station...
A Giacometti Portrait, by James Lord
From James Lord’s account of being painted by his friend, Alberto Giacometti on the 15th day of the sitting: ”But it is in depth,” I protested. ”Not enough!” he exclaimed. Then as we went along the rue d’Alésia, he looked up at the sky, which was bright, and said, “I’ve never seen the sky that way before. It’s so high.” He...
The Daily Rocket: What's Up, New York? I'm Back. →
elizabethcrane: When my dad was a kid, he and his friends had a newspaper they called The Weekly Rocket. I loved my dad. So that’s what that’s about. My husband and I arrived in NYC ten days ago after three years in Austin, TX. Austin was sweet, but not the place for me. Chicago was our home before that, mine…
Joseph Addison's comedic essays: Sir Roger at...
From “Sir Roger at Vauxhall,” a short essay published in The Spectator, 1712: “We were no sooner come to the Temple-stairs, but we were surrounded with a crowd of watermen, offering their respective services. Sir Roger, after having looked about him very attentively, spied one with a wooden leg, and immediately gave him orders to get his boat ready. As we were walking...
The press, however, is now the medium through which feminine ambition chiefly...– Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Mrs. Hutchinson,” 1804
Dear Chris Jones,
michelledean: More than a few people whose opinions I respect advised me not to respond to you. One quoted Jane Austen at me: “He doesn’t deserve the compliment of rational opposition.” She uses that one a lot, I wouldn’t take it too personally. Still, I’ve come to think in the course of composing this reply that she was right, though not in the way she intended. At least in part, you’re just...
RIP Lewis Nordan
I miss him already. Lewis Nordan, author of Wolf Whistle among many others, has died.
The Bravest Woman in Seattle →
longformorg: She survived an evil, gruesome attack. Her partner did not. An account of a victim, a widow, telling her story on the witness stand. Update, 4/16/12: This piece was just awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. Eli Sanders | The Stranger | Jun 2011
Professor Diablo's True Revue
The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS), in cooperation with Casbah, is pleased to announce the launch of Professor Diablo’s True Revue, a collaborative performance of writers, musicians, visual artists, and others. Email not displaying properly? View it in your browser. twitter facebook Professor Diablo Links: 1....
And one more.
In case you ever wondered.
Mission Accomplished: Sinclair, Murrell to Meet...
We’ll be walking around East London, taking note of the psychogeography. Will report back.
From the Highway 64 Project, 2011.
Dear readers: If any of you have the ability to contact Iain Sinclair, or any other members of the London Psychogeographical Society, I would be much obliged if you’d forward to them a communique from me. Please tell them I will be in London beginning next week, and would appreciate an audience. I need to meet the writer who wrote this: It started with the Dome, the Millennium Dome. An...
A Different View of Africa →
Africa is changing—but when it comes to conflict, the battles are smaller, messier and not necessarily driven by a specific purpose: This is the story of conflict in Africa these days. What we are seeing is the decline of the classic wars by freedom fighters and the proliferation of something else—something wilder, messier, more predatory, and harder to define. The style of warfare has shifted...
Brooklyn Cops, Juking the Stats
longreads: How officers in the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn were “juking the stats” to improve crime statistics in their area. The NYPD called it an isolated incident, but critics point to a culture of data-obsession that leads police to ignore, discard or downgrade complaints from victims: These weren’t minor incidents. The victims included a Chinese-food delivery man robbed and beaten bloody, a...
Work in Progress
Like Cotton Mather, I haunt our courtrooms in pursuit of witches and the like. Here in our district court I found the resentful and the pissed off: the domestic abusers in striped jail gear and baby dreads, mouthing off at their girlfriends who stand quiet across the room; the endless parade of drivers who were drinking, drivers without licenses, drivers who were drinking and driving without...
I profiled the Baryshnikov of the Big East—a man... →
bzcohen: Mostly I’m just jealous of any guy who can actually dance.
Sasha Frere-Jones: Why Don’t I Like Coldplay? An... →
Why Don’t I Like Coldplay? An Investigation by Frere-Jones
You know what I never say about paper? "I've got a...
Lisa Simeone Under Fire From National Public Radio... →
Props to Davidson, North Carolina’s own WDAV for resisting NPR’s pressure to get rid of Lisa Simeone, host of “World of Opera,” for participating in OccupyDC. http://huff.to/q7IG8E
Were the unreconstructed Agrarians onto something?...
Emptyage — Generation X Doesn't Want to Hear It →
Generation X is sick of your bullshit. http://bit.ly/mPA35R