Memory and mourning in the internet age: An essay about a man seeing his deceased mother on his childhood street from two-thousand miles away and two years in the future. "I'll treat these Street View adventures as mini treasure hunts, attempting to come up with the most obscure and faintly held memory of a place, to make my search for that location as difficult as possible."
From the New Yorker.
The New Yorker publishes an essay about the inception of "The New Yorker Story," authored by Jonathan Franzen. Two "o" words that would appear in a New Yorker story to describe this article: onanism, omphaloskepsis. "In a country recovering from one war and entering others, living under a nuclear shadow, awaiting large-scale social upheavals, no scream could do justice to the American middle-class predicament. Only understatement could." From the New Yorker.
Romanian white-collar criminals exploit a law that offers relief for prisoners who produce published work while incarcerated. From The Economist.
An essay on gothic horror novels, which are a hoot. The author describes the genre excellently and thusly: "These are stories that couldn’t exist outside a culture obsessed with sin and hellfire, and yet they’re not morality tales: the only lesson to be drawn from most gothic romances is that the supernatural can be easily substituted for the divine." From the Paris Review.
Baldwin's French estate is falling apart while his stature in intellectual circles has never been in better shape. An account of likely trespassing, and the undulations of Baldwin. Warning for lovers of Ralph Ellison, Albert Murray, etc. They say some terrible things. "But what remained of the three-hundred-year-old farmhouse and the gatehouse, where Baldwin’s Swiss lover, Lucien Happersberger, lived, had lapsed into a powerful state of disrepair. Birds flew in and out of the second level, and Shahin hoisted himself through a rectangular opening in the side of the first, reporting back that it was trashed and stripped bare." From the New Yorker.
Suburban Satanism: "Satanism is many things—contrary, ironic, sophomoric—but it is not serious. At least not as serious as it should be, given its beliefs: we’re talking about a fallen angel who decided he’d had enough of heaven’s righteousness, and descended—literally, metaphorically—into eternal darkness, determined to wage war against the pesky Nazarene. The deck is stacked, of course. Satan knows he can’t win, but he fights on." From the Paris Review.
David Lynch's limited vocabulary: "In Lynch’s own speech and in the speech patterns of his films, the impression is of language used less for meaning than for sound. To savor the thingness of words is to move away from their imprisoning nature. Lynch has said, more than once, that he had to “learn to talk,” and his very particular, somewhat limited vocabulary seems in many ways an outgrowth of his aesthetic." From the New Yorker.