(Notes From Elsewhere is a roundup of various literary things compiled by Sara Habein, along with news from past Word Riot authors. She make no claims at being terribly current or the first to know anything, but hopefully you will find something interesting here.)
“If you are like me, you must always have something to read in the bathroom. Anything will do,” Charles Simic writes in this New York Review of Books essay, “The Bathroom Muse.” Are you like him?
Here’s some reading material, then: Elissa Bassist has a great Modern Love essay called “The Never-to-Be Bride.”
Love and Fatigue in America is the latest offering from Roger King, an autobiographical novel dealing myalgic encephalopathy (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. “It’s one of those invisible illnesses, like MS, that can engender impatience and disbelief rather than compassion or nurturing behavior from others,” this article says. As someone who has the condition, I do appreciate literary attempts to make sense of it. The book was also briefly noted in the New Yorker.
If you need another long, satisfying read, might I suggest this Paris Review interview with Pablo Neruda? It’s full of great gems, but here’s one thing I can wholeheartedly agree with: “It’s hard to drink bad wine in Chile because almost all the wine in Chile is good.”
Ah, but what about your own writing? I haven’t poked around here much, but I’ve stumbled across Archetype: The Fiction Writer’s Guide to Psychology. It could be useful for research purposes.
In a similar vein, at the Independent, Laurie Penny interviews men on what “masculinity” means to them. “There were answers that made my heart flutter – ‘To me, being a man is about outrageously loving my wife’ – and others that made me giggle alone in my bedroom,” she says, “like when one young man confessed that he never feels more masculine than when he’s asked to remove a difficult lid.”
After all the research and then writing the damn thing, what goes into putting a book out into the world? John B. Thompson decided to find out, with everything from acceptance/rejection reasoning, to advances, and anything else that makes the major publishing world “alien and mysterious.” At the Penguin blog, he talks about his findings, and his book, Merchants of Culture.
And once a book exists, some of us really like having fancy editions. Flavorwire rounds up 10 Beautiful Literary Box Sets. Even though I have most of the original paperbacks, I wish I had that hardcover Calvin & Hobbes collection.