nprfreshair:

Stephen King tells Terry Gross about what scares him these days:

It’s been quite a while since I was really afraid that there was a boogeyman in my closet, although I am still very careful to keep my feet under the covers when I go to sleep, because the covers are magic and if your feet are covered, it’s like boogeyman kryptonite. And I’m not as afraid of that as I used to be. The supernatural stuff doesn’t get to me anymore. So here’s the movie that scared me the most in the last 12 or 13 years. The movie opens with a woman in late middle-age, sitting at a table and writing a story and the story goes something like, ‘Then the branches creaked in the …’ and she stops and she says to her husband, ‘What are those things? I can’t think of them. They’re in the backyard and they’re very tall and birds land on the branches.’ And he says, ‘Why, Iris, those are trees,’ and she says, ‘Yes, how silly of me,’ and she writes the word and the movie starts. And that’s Iris Murdoch and she’s suffering the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s the boogeyman in the closet now. … I’m afraid of losing my mind.

Image of Irish Murdoch via The Guardian

nprfreshair:

Stephen King tells Terry Gross about what scares him these days:

It’s been quite a while since I was really afraid that there was a boogeyman in my closet, although I am still very careful to keep my feet under the covers when I go to sleep, because the covers are magic and if your feet are covered, it’s like boogeyman kryptonite. And I’m not as afraid of that as I used to be. The supernatural stuff doesn’t get to me anymore. So here’s the movie that scared me the most in the last 12 or 13 years. The movie opens with a woman in late middle-age, sitting at a table and writing a story and the story goes something like, ‘Then the branches creaked in the …’ and she stops and she says to her husband, ‘What are those things? I can’t think of them. They’re in the backyard and they’re very tall and birds land on the branches.’ And he says, ‘Why, Iris, those are trees,’ and she says, ‘Yes, how silly of me,’ and she writes the word and the movie starts. And that’s Iris Murdoch and she’s suffering the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s the boogeyman in the closet now. … I’m afraid of losing my mind.

Image of Irish Murdoch via The Guardian

Reblogged from NPR Fresh Air

Joan Didion, “On Self-Respect”

Although the careless, suicidal Julian English in Appointment in Samarra and the careless, incurably dishonest Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby seem equally improbable candidates for self-respect, Jordan Baker had it, Julian English did not. With that genius for accommodation more often seen in women than in men, Jordan took her own measure, made her own peace, avoided threats to that peace: “I hate careless people,” she told Nick Carraway. “It takes two to make an accident.”

Like Jordan Baker, people with self-respect have the courage of their mistakes. They know the price of things. If they choose to commit adultery, they do not then go running, in an access of bad conscience, to receive absolution from the wronged parties; nor do they complain unduly of the unfairness, the undeserved embarrassment, of being named co-respondent. In brief, people with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called character, a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to other, more instantly negotiable virtues…Nonetheless, character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life - is the source from which self-respect springs. 

TURKEY REMAINS AND HOW TO INTER THEM WITH NUMEROUS SCARCE RECIPES- by F. Scott Fitzgerald

(via womansoheartless)

At this post holiday season, the refrigerators of the nation are overstuffed with large masses of turkey, the sight of which is calculated to give an adult an attack of dizziness. It seems, therefore, an appropriate time to give the owners the benefit of my experience as an old gourmet, in using this surplus material. Some of the recipes have been in my family for generations. (This usually occurs when rigor mortis sets in.) They were collected over years, from old cook books, yellowed diaries of the Pilgrim Fathers, mail order catalogues, golf-bags and trash cans. Not one but has been tried and proven—there are headstones all over America to testify to the fact.

Very well then. Here goes:

1. Turkey Cocktail: To one large turkey add one gallon of vermouth and a demijohn of angostura bitters. Shake.

2. Turkey à la Francais: Take a large ripe turkey, prepare as for basting and stuff with old watches and chains and monkey meat. Proceed as with cottage pudding.

3. Turkey and Water: Take one turkey and one pan of water. Heat the latter to the boiling point and then put in the refrigerator. When it has jelled, drown the turkey in it. Eat. In preparing this recipe it is best to have a few ham sandwiches around in case things go wrong.

4. Turkey Mongole: Take three butts of salami and a large turkey skeleton, from which the feathers and natural stuffing have been removed. Lay them out on the table and call up some Mongole in the neighborhood to tell you how to proceed from there.

5. Turkey Mousse: Seed a large prone turkey, being careful to remove the bones, flesh, fins, gravy, etc. Blow up with a bicycle pump. Mount in becoming style and hang in the front hall.

6. Stolen Turkey: Walk quickly from the market, and, if accosted, remark with a laugh that it had just flown into your arms and you hadn’t noticed it. Then drop the turkey with the white of one egg—well, anyhow, beat it.

7. Turkey à la Crême: Prepare the crême a day in advance. Deluge the turkey with it and cook for six days over a blast furnace. Wrap in fly paper and serve.

8. Turkey Hash: This is the delight of all connoisseurs of the holiday beast, but few understand how really to prepare it. Like a lobster, it must be plunged alive into boiling water, until it becomes bright red or purple or something, and then before the color fades, placed quickly in a washing machine and allowed to stew in its own gore as it is whirled around. Only then is it ready for hash. To hash, take a large sharp tool like a nail-file or, if none is handy, a bayonet will serve the purpose—and then get at it! Hash it well! Bind the remains with dental floss and serve.

9. Feathered Turkey: To prepare this, a turkey is necessary and a one pounder cannon to compel anyone to eat it. Broil the feathers and stuff with sage-brush, old clothes, almost anything you can dig up. Then sit down and simmer. The feathers are to be eaten like artichokes (and this is not to be confused with the old Roman custom of tickling the throat.)

10. Turkey à la Maryland: Take a plump turkey to a barber’s and have him shaved, or if a female bird, given a facial and a water wave. Then, before killing him, stuff with old newspapers and put him to roost. He can then be served hot or raw, usually with a thick gravy of mineral oil and rubbing alcohol. (Note: This recipe was given me by an old black mammy.)

11. Turkey Remnant: This is one of the most useful recipes for, though not, “chic,” it tells what to do with the turkey after the holiday, and how to extract the most value from it. Take the remants, or, if they have been consumed, take the various plates on which the turkey or its parts have rested and stew them for two hours in milk of magnesia. Stuff with moth-balls.

12. Turkey with Whiskey Sauce: This recipe is for a party of four. Obtain a gallon of whiskey, and allow it to age for several hours. Then serve, allowing one quart for each guest. The next day the turkey should be added, little by little, constantly stirring and basting.

13. For Weddings or Funerals: Obtain a gross of small white boxes such as are used for bride’s cake. Cut the turkey into small squares, roast, stuff, kill, boil, bake and allow to skewer. Now we are ready to begin. Fill each box with a quantity of soup stock and pile in a handy place. As the liquid elapses, the prepared turkey is added until the guests arrive. The boxes delicately tied with white ribbons are then placed in the handbags of the ladies, or in the men’s side pockets.

There I guess that’s enough turkey talk. I hope I’ll never see or hear of another until—well, until next year.

(via Flavorwire » Literary Ink: Famous Authors and Their Tattoos)
Weekly announcement of untoward feelings for China Mieville. Also cool: Jonathan Lethem’s Philip K. Dick-referencing tattoo.

(via Flavorwire » Literary Ink: Famous Authors and Their Tattoos)

Weekly announcement of untoward feelings for China Mieville. Also cool: Jonathan Lethem’s Philip K. Dick-referencing tattoo.

Rule No. 6: What isn’t said is as important as what is said. In many classic short stories, the real action occurs in the silences. Try to keep all the good stuff off the page. Some “real world” practice might help. The next time your partner comes home, ignore his or her existence for 30 minutes, and then blurt out “That’s it!” and drive the car onto the neighbor’s lawn. When your children approach at bedtime, squeeze their shoulders meaningfully and, if you’re a woman, smear your lipstick across your face with the back of your wrist, or, if you’re a man, weep violently until they say, “It’s O.K., Dad.” Drink out of a chipped mug, a souvenir from a family vacation or weekend getaway in better times, one that can trigger a two-paragraph compare/contrast description later on. It’s a bit like Method acting. Simply let this thought guide your every word and gesture: “Something is wrong — can you guess what it is?” If you’re going for something a little more postmodern, repeat the above, but with fish.

Colson Whitehead’s Rules for Writing - NYTimes.com

These are hysterical. He’s just my favorite. Read him, seriously, if you haven’t already. There’s no bad place to start.

anneyhall:

Zelda Fitzgerald

Does she remind anyone else of Lena Dunham in this photograph?

anneyhall:

Zelda Fitzgerald

Does she remind anyone else of Lena Dunham in this photograph?

Reblogged from HC
…Crimes are universally understood to be news to the extent that they offer, however erroneously, a story, a lesson, a high concept.
— Joan Didion, “Sentimental Journeys”.

Joan Didion - On Self-Respect

To have that sense of one’s intrinsic work which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference. If we do not respect ourselves, we are on the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weaknesses. On the other, we are peculiarly in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out - since our self-image is untenable - their false notions of us. We flatter ourselves by thinking this compulsion to please others an attractive trait: a gist for imaginative empathy, evidence of our willingness to give. Of course I will play Francesca to your Paolo, Helen Keller to anyone’s Annie Sullivan: no expectation is too misplaced, no role too ludicrous. At the mercy of those we cannot but hold in contempt, we play roles doomed to failure before they are begun, each defeat generating fresh despair at the urgency of divining and meeting the next demand made upon us.

It is the phenomenon sometimes called “alienation from self.” In its advanced stages, we no longer answer the telephone, because someone might want something; that we could say no without drowning in self-reproach is an idea alien to this game. Every encounter demands too much, tears the nerves, drains the will, and the specter of something as small as an unanswered letter arouses such disproportionate guilt that answering it becomes out of the question. To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, or free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home. 

(via Ever Wonder How Anthony Bourdain Came to Be ANTHONY BOURDAIN? (and What He Looked Like in 1972?): BA Daily: bonappetit.com)
I think it was that day—the day of the photograph, or another very much like it, sitting by the edge of the rough Atlantic, perhaps after a swig of rough red table wine—that I first heard him make that statement: “I am a man of simple needs.” An expression of genuine satisfaction with the moment. It left an impression. I remember those words every time I find myself made ridiculously happy by a bowl of noodles eaten while sitting on a low plastic stool, sucking up the smell of burning joss sticks and distant wafts of durian, the sight of Vietnamese families on their motorbikes around me.I feel myself moving like him. I feel his face in mine when I pick up my daughter. I hear his voice in mine when I say something silly, make myself ridiculous for her entertainment. When we eat together, I can’t help but try, like my father, to portray what we eat as potentially awesome or funny—as “marvelous.”

(via Ever Wonder How Anthony Bourdain Came to Be ANTHONY BOURDAIN? (and What He Looked Like in 1972?): BA Daily: bonappetit.com)

I think it was that day—the day of the photograph, or another very much like it, sitting by the edge of the rough Atlantic, perhaps after a swig of rough red table wine—that I first heard him make that statement: “I am a man of simple needs.” An expression of genuine satisfaction with the moment.

It left an impression. I remember those words every time I find myself made ridiculously happy by a bowl of noodles eaten while sitting on a low plastic stool, sucking up the smell of burning joss sticks and distant wafts of durian, the sight of Vietnamese families on their motorbikes around me.

I feel myself moving like him. I feel his face in mine when I pick up my daughter. I hear his voice in mine when I say something silly, make myself ridiculous for her entertainment. When we eat together, I can’t help but try, like my father, to portray what we eat as potentially awesome or funny—as “marvelous.”

What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-f—king-American, is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Gov. Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion.
— Stephen King scolds the superrich (including himself—and Mitt Romney) for not giving back, and warns of a Kingsian apocalyptic scenario if inequality is not addressed in America. Stephen King FTW! (via cheatsheet)
Reblogged from Newsweek
fromageetalpinisme:


“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
E. B. White, 1976

fromageetalpinisme:

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

E. B. White, 1976

John Irving’s 10 Favorite Books

libraryland:

  1. “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens
  2. “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy
  3. “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  4. “The Mayor of Casterbridge” by Thomas Hardy
  5. “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens
  6. “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert
  7. “The Fifth Business” by Robertson Davies
  8. “The Tin Drum” by Gunther Grass
  9. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  10. “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville

(from The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books)

I don’t know how to tell you this, John Irving, but…….we know. We really know. Anyone who’s read anything you’ve written - we know. We love you for it, but…..again, we definitely know what your favorite books are. 

Reblogged from Libraryland
walkwhilereading:

Annotated Copy of Underworld by Don DeLillo.
“David Foster Wallace and Don DeLillo corresponded frequently about their writing and their struggles when they were both working on complex and lenghty novels. DeLillo’s Underworld (1997) and Wallace’s Infinite Jest (1996). They also shared pre-published drafts of the novels with each other. Displayed here is one fo the three bound voumes of Wallace’s heavily annotated copy of Don DeLillo’s draft of Underworld. [link]

walkwhilereading:

Annotated Copy of Underworld by Don DeLillo.

“David Foster Wallace and Don DeLillo corresponded frequently about their writing and their struggles when they were both working on complex and lenghty novels. DeLillo’s Underworld (1997) and Wallace’s Infinite Jest (1996). They also shared pre-published drafts of the novels with each other. Displayed here is one fo the three bound voumes of Wallace’s heavily annotated copy of Don DeLillo’s draft of Underworld. [link]

Reblogged from Libraryland
apoetreflects:

“Writing is a deeper sleep than death.  Just as one wouldn’t pull a corpse from its grave, I can’t be dragged from my desk at night.”
—Franz Kafka

apoetreflects:

“Writing is a deeper sleep than death.  Just as one wouldn’t pull a corpse from its grave, I can’t be dragged from my desk at night.”

—Franz Kafka

Reblogged from Libraryland