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David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is a notoriously “difficult” book, and one of the last ones to come to mind when you think of books to make in Lego form. Supposedly, the late author told his friend Jonathan Franzen that “the story can’t fully be made sense of.” But an eleven-year-old boy named Sebastian Griffith has […]

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“By this time he’d opened a new bottle of tequila and was quaffing it down….He sliced the grapefruit into quarters…then into eighths…then sixteenths…then he began slashing aimlessly at the residue.” So goes Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. And there it is. For Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals, Dinah Fried took about […]

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When the literary giant Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away last week, he left behind En Agosto Nos Vemos (“We’ll Meet In August”), a finished novel that dates back to about 2004. According to the AP, the opening chapter focuses on a married woman who has an affair while visiting her mother’s grave on a tropical island. Cristobal Pera, editor at […]

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Barry Miles’s new biography about a drunken junkie queer transgressive literary giant — Call Me Burroughs: A Life — is getting solid reviews. It appears to be “the authoritative record of Burroughs’s life.” It’s quite detailed, and ace “in terms of breadth, erudition, and sheer narrative combustion.” One detail, often gone amiss, are the last words of then 83-year-old writer. […]

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Richard Marshall reviewed Kafka: The Years Of Insight, the third and final part of Reiner Stach’s Kafka trilogy from Princeton University Press, 2013 and “the loneliness, horror, disgust and shame of writing” and “the awful presence of Kafka, even a Kafka mediated by biography” is almost “too unbearable, too destabilizing, too unnerving.” In other words, this really […]

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According to a new scientific study in Science journal, reading literary fiction can greatly improve our ability to understand one another in complex social settings. Social psychologists at The New School, working within the relatively new field called “theory of the mind” conducted a series of five experiments measuring things such as “empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence.” Researchers have […]

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H.P. Lovecraft’s creature descriptions are notoriously dense, detailed and revolting. Like so, in “At the Mountains of Madness” (1931): Important discovery. Orrendorf and Watkins, working underground at 9:45 with light, found monstrous barrel-shaped fossil of wholly unknown nature; probably vegetable unless overgrown specimen of unknown marine radiata. Tissue evidently preserved by mineral salts. Tough as […]

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Yes, this is really happening. According to the New York Times and the Associated Press, J.D. Salinger, the late, famously reclusive writer, has not one, not two, but five new works coming out beginning in 2015. This is big news for the legions of people for whom The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, and the rest of Salinger’s works virtually defined […]

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Need a gift for your well-read, insufferably self-satisfied intellectual friend’s upcoming birthday? Consider this, a 7×8 print depicting a page of Finnegan’s Wake. It’s an homage to a novel that’s routinely called one of the most difficult books ever written, to those squiggly red and green lines that have become bonafide parts of the consciousness of contemporary […]

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The merger between Penguin Books and Random House was announced on July 1st, sending shock waves throughout the literary world. Opponents of the merger worried about layoffs in the face of inevitable redundancy that the merger will cause, leading to less talented workers in the publishing industry. They worried about smaller advances and less access […]

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