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.
The Quarterly Conversation has posted a roundtable on the great Harry Mathews, including essays by Dan Visel and Ed Park on The Conversions, Laird Hunt on My Life in CIA, John Beer on The New Tourism, Daniel Levin Becker on Selected Declarations of Dependence, and Jeremy M. Davies and myself on Cigarettes.
Issue 24 of The Quarterly Conversation has a great David Foster Wallace symposium, with seven essays, including Lance Olsen on Oblivion. Also reviews of books by Rimbaud, Ovid, and Andrew Ervin, as well as an interview with Eliot Weinberger.
My review of Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries by Helen Vendler is also in the issue. NOTE: This book is the Big Other Book Club’s November Selection.
The Spring 2011 on-line edition of Rain Taxi is also full of wonderful things. Interviews with Evan Lavender-Smith, Steve Tomasula, and John Ashbery. Also reviews of books by Susan Howe, Alissa Nutting, Orhan Pamuk, Günter Grass, and Roland Barthes.
My review of John Hawkes’s The Passion Artist, recently re-issued by Dalkey Archive, is there as well.