I have a brief piece on the London Review of Books blog about the recent arrest of a ‘terror cell’ in Xinjiang, conveniently just in time for the one year anniversary of the Urumqi riots.
The wonderful Wyatt Mason has a review of Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky in the latest New York Review of Books. WM makes some good points about DFW’s willingness to explore the various sofas, couches, ottomans, divans, chaise lounges and footstools that constitute our mental furniture. He argues that there was nothing ‘un-edited’ about DFW’s stories and novels (if memory serves, Infinite Jest had about 500 pages cut from it). For my part, I have a copy of Lipsky’s book glaring at me right now. There is a dog on the cover. His name is Drone.
So I went to the Pynchon conference. In Poland. A marvellous time was had. In addition to being promised a certificate proving that I am now a bona fide scholar, the lovely people at Marie Curie University recorded everyone’s talks. So delete your playlists. Sit in a dark room. You’ll be amazed at what you end up doodling.
Click on the names on the abstract page to hear the talks- My suggestions would be Simon de Bourcier on Aether, David Letzler on character, Sascha Pöhlmann on games, Jeffrey Severs on women and capitalism, and for sheer verbal brio, Douglas Lanark on the year of the metal tiger.
Here is mine which is about 15 minutes long. It’s about how to escape.