Helen DeWitt’s “Cormac McCarthy & the Semi-Colon” is about the travails of punctuation. Yes, editors are often always trying to add commas.
The new great issue of The Quarterly Conversation has a review of William H. Gass’s Middle C by Brad Johnson and one of Sam Lipsyte’s The Fun Parts by David Winters. David Winters’ review of Christine Schutt’s Prosperous Friends in the LA Review of Books is also well worth the click.
Canadian author Douglas Glover’s literary journal Numero Cinq is billed as “A warm place on a cruel web.” Jason Lucarelli’s piece “The Consecution of Gordon Lish: An Essay on Form and Influence” might be the most definitive piece on Lish.
There is a wonderful interview with Evan Lavender-Smith by Edwin Turner at Biblioklept. Lavender-Smith’s glorious From Old Notebooks was recently re-issued by Dzanc Books. I reviewed it at this site.
If one ever wondered what happened to the guys in high school who sat around reading philosophy and fancying posey, From Old Notebooks (Blaze Vox) gives a good facsimile of what their life might be like in their thirties, married with children and living in the work-a-day world. If the character of Evan Lavender-Smith in the novel, created by Evan Lavender-Smith the writer, is a foil and not the man himself (how could he be? could he?), he is the foil who breathes braggadocio and bile strewn with acid humor, whose sense of self sprouts from swelling loins, shadowing the silver tongue of Joyce, among others.