Critical Notes

Roundup 18

By Jane Ciabattari

Twitter founder Biz Stone twitted by Stephen Colbert.

New York Times Skimmer prototype, via Sree Sreenivisan tweet.

Meanwhile, check out this Short Storyspreadsheet.

Carolyn Kellogg on the 100th anniversary of John Fante’s birth:“Bandini would be shocked, horrified, and ultimately pleased….”

NBCC Balakian winner Wyatt Mason on Nabokov as translator.

Thomas Mallon on the Lowell-Bishop letters,“one of the great poetic correspondences,” including Lowell’s descriptoin of Flannery O’Connor at Yaddo to his correspondent: “…always in a blue jean suit, working on the last chapters of Wise Blood, suffering from undiagnosed pains, a face formless at times, then very strong and young and right.”

Mary Ann Gwinn gives a fiction forecast for a dismal Seattle spring.

Michael Lukas blogs on Graywolf’s success stories.

Daniel Alarcon talks about the all-Latin American issue he co edited for Zoetrope.

The Virginia Quarterly Review, nominated for National Magazine Awards for General Excellence and Fiction again this year, has thrown open it archives, available here. VQR’s Waldo Jaquith explains: “We just flipped the switch and made public every single poem, story, essay, and book review that appeared in VQR from 1975 through 2003—the whole of Staige Blackford’s tenure as editor—online for all the world to see. That’s 3,169 works in all.” Kudos to Ted Genoways and staff.

Happy first birthday to Gently Read Literature.

Gregg Barrios talks to Rigoberto Gonzalez about “Men Without Bliss.” Podcast here.

A new poem from Nobel-award winning Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska here. opening line: “Me—a teenager?”

“Starting Today: Poems for the First 100 Days” is winding down. #79 here.

WNYC’s long-awaited Greene Public Space opens April 28. “Three platforms collide – radio, digital and live – to create a synergistic evening of sight, sound and experience.” The opening night concert will be webcast on

Stephen Donoghue     on Richard Evans’s “The Third Reich at War:” “The Second World War is poised on the twilight cusp between the daylight of shared, remembered experience and the long night of history, across which will flicker only the dreams of interpretation and re-interpretation.”

Celia McGee talks to Dara Horn about her new novel, “All Other Nights:” “But ‘All Other Nights’ is no ‘Goodbye Columbus.’ It’s more a book for the multitudes who have been clamoring for a way to celebrate the Lincoln bicentennial and Passover at the same time.”

James Wood on two volumes of Orwell essays edited by George Packer.

Scott Esposito on “Best of Contemporary Mexican Fiction:”  “…the protagonists of many of these stories bear more than a little resemblance to Bolaño’s favored storytellers: the literate, cynical youth (frequently a failed intellectual) who tells a shimmering, elusive tale ostensibly about nothing in particular.”