Image by Christiaan Tonnis, via Wikimedia Commons
William S. Burroughs may have died almost twenty years ago, but that doesn’t mean his fans have gone entirely without new material since. This year, for instance, has seen the release of the Naked Lunch author’s new spoken word album Let Me Hang You, which you can listen to free on Spotify.
Image by Daniele Prati, via Flickr Commons
The mind of Kurt Vonnegut, like the protagonist of his best-known novel Slaughterhouse-Five, must have got “unstuck in time” somewhere along the line.
It’s fair to say that every period which has celebrated the literature of antiquity has held epic Roman poet Virgil in extremely high regard, and that was never more the case than during the early Christian and medieval eras. Born in 70 B.C.[...]
Remember Donny and Marie Osmond, the toothy, teenage Mormon siblings whose eponymous television variety show was a wholesome 70’s mix of skits, songs, and ice skating?
Their surprisingly enduring theme song reduced their popularity to an easily graspable binary formula:
She was a little bit country. He was a little bit rock and roll.
Some of the best, most succinct writing advice I ever received came from the great John McPhee, via one of his former students: “Writing is paying attention.” What do you see, hear, taste, etc.? Questions of style, syntax, and punctuation come later.[...]
In 1965, the editor of The Nation asked Hunter S. Thompson to write a story about the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club, as they’re officially known. The assignment eventually yielded the article, “The Motorcycle Gangs” (read it online), which became the basis for the 1966 book, Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga.[...]
“What really matters is what you like, not what you are like,” says the narrator of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. “It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently.[...]
Everyone loves a love story—especially a love affair. We may think ourselves above a juicy scandal…, but who are we kidding? Tragically, however, for many famous people of the past—from Oscar Wilde to Alan Turing to Tab Hunter—affairs could not only end careers and reputations, they could end lives.[...]
Image by Lucius B. Truesdell, via Wikimedia Commons
H.P. Lovecraft has somewhat fallen out of favor in many circles of horror and fantasy writing. Just this past year, after much debate, the World Fantasy Awards decided to remove his likeness from their statuette.
The story of humans creating monstrous beings in their image may have perennial relevance, even if it seems specific to our contemporary cultural moment.[...]