Because I know you need something for the weekend. These links go well with an earthy red wine.
- I’m always a fan of Largehearted Boy’s Book Notes column, in which he asks a writer what music inspired a particular book. In the current edition, Peter Straub discusses the jazz he listened to while penning his new book A Dark Matter. “I’m a jazz fan, and I listen mainly to entire recordings, what we used to call “albums,” as though they contained photographs.”
- This piece in the Guardian caused a bit of an internet fracas earlier this week. Thankfully, Carolyn Kellogg points out its many flaws so that I don’t have to. I will say that all art goes through cycles where it becomes more insular, more personal, or conversely, larger in scope (This blog post by Sarah McCoy addresses some of those issues with regards our current lack of Iraq/Afghanistan War literature). I also think that there’s a tendency to exaggerate the greatness of previous generations, as we see their entire body of work, rather than the incomplete oeuvre of the current generation of writers.
- Finally, via The Millions comes this Wall Street Journal article about the number of players in the NBA who read. “Last year, the NBA players’ union started circulating a quarterly reading list—this winter’s suggestions include Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” and a book called “Talent is Overrated.”” I recall reading an interview with Bill Simmons in which he bemoaned the dearth of interesting players in the league. He blamed it on shorter college careers and a sequestered, overly-handled lifestyle. He makes a compelling case that there were five or six guys on the 1972 Knicks who would have been great at a dinner party, able to talk about art, politics, philosophy, etc. It’s good to see there might be more of these guys in the league than it first seemed. (Simmons link via Kottke)