James Joyce was born on this day in 1882. One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, his novel Ulysses stands as a monument to modernism but remains a daunting challenge to many readers. This picture of Marilyn Monroe was taken during a photoshoot with Eve Arnold, who described the moment thus:
'We worked on a beach on Long Island. She was visiting Norman Rosten the poet…. I asked her what she was reading when I went to pick her up (I was trying to get an idea of how she spent her time). She said she kept Ulysses in her car and had been reading it for a long time. She said she loved the sound of it and would read it aloud to herself to try to make sense of it — but she found it hard going. She couldn’t read it consecutively. When we stopped at a local playground to photograph she got out the book and started to read while I loaded the film. So, of course, I photographed her. It was always a collaborative effort of photographer and subject where she was concerned — but almost more her input.'
Gosto muito de listas mas mais de lê-las do que fazê-las. Quando me ponho a enumerar, alguma coisa me escapa sempre, escolhas injustas acabam feitas e no fim saio irritado e desiludido com o empreendimento. Quando é coisa de pôr por ordem de preferência ou limitar à dezena, então, é o cabo dos trabalhos.
Em relação a cinema, nem vou tentar. Vi filmes em festivais, no cinema, no Netflix, via Videoclube, em Blu-Ray, no ecrã da sala escura, no ecrã de um computador, no ecrã da televisão. E tentei não ver nada que detestasse particularmente. E alguns gostei realmente muito e até revi ou tenciono rever.
A televisão, não me posso esquecer de contar com a televisão!
Em relação a música, ouço-a de tantas maneiras diferentes que o registo é difícil: em CD, vinil, no Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, Youtube e tudo o resto que me aparece à frente. Diz-me o Last FM (que apenas regista alguns e quando lhe apetece) que o álbum que mais ouvi foi a banda sonora do Nocturnal Animals, do Abel Korzeniowski, que o artista que mais ouvi foram os R.E.M. e que a faixa que mais ouvi foi 'Candy Says' dos The Velvet Underground. Mas diz-me também que ouvi 462 artistas diferentes, portanto vale o que vale, nesta época em que toda a música está disponível. Vá, arredondemos para 500.
Em relação a livros, o Goodreads tem-me ajudado a manter um registo mais ou menos fiel daquilo que começo e acabo, ainda por cima assim arrumadinho com bonecos e tudo. Ficam por registar os que apenas consulto, folheio, largo, distraído, os que compro e esperam o seu tempo que há de vir. Duas ou três notas: há banda desenhada extraordinária a ser publicada; há poesia extraordinária e, em alguns casos, fortemente política, a ser publicada, sobretudo em língua inglesa; li, aliás, quase só em inglês, um hábito já de alguns anos mas que este ano bateu mais forte porque precisava mais de pensar em inglês (os motivos para isso não vêm agora ao caso, talvez algum dia venham); não quer isto dizer que despreze a literatura lusófona ou de qualquer outro país; o ano ainda não acabou e é provável que esta lista esteja ainda incompleta.
O que mais quiserem saber, não hesitem em perguntar.
P.S.: Faltam também aqui os livros de fotografia, uma meia dúzia este ano.
So smile the heavens upon this holy act, That after hours with sorrow chide us not!
Amen, amen! but come what sorrow can, It cannot countervail the exchange of joy That one short minute gives me in her sight: Do thou but close our hands with holy words, Then love-devouring death do what he dare; It is enough I may but call her mine.
These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, Which as they kiss consume: the sweetest honey Is loathsome in his own deliciousness And in the taste confounds the appetite: Therefore love moderately; long love doth so; Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
Here comes the lady: O, so light a foot Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint: A lover may bestride the gossamer That idles in the wanton summer air, And yet not fall; so light is vanity.
Good even to my ghostly confessor.
Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us both.
As much to him, else is his thanks too much.
Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy Be heap'd like mine and that thy skill be more To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath This neighbour air, and let rich music's tongue Unfold the imagined happiness that both Receive in either by this dear encounter.
Conceit, more rich in matter than in words, Brags of his substance, not of ornament: They are but beggars that can count their worth; But my true love is grown to such excess I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.
Come, come with me, and we will make short work; For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone Till holy church incorporate two in one.
All of them wonderful. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. The MacArthur Fellowship is a $625,000, no-strings-attached grant for individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work and the promise to do more. Learn more at www.macfound.org/macfellow
Among others, this year: Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine and Gene Luen Yang.
Maggie Nelson is a writer forging a new mode of nonfiction that transcends the divide between the personal and the intellectual.
Claudia Rankine is a poet illuminating the emotional and psychic tensions that mark the experiences of many living in twenty-first-century America.
Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novelist and cartoonist whose work for young adults demonstrates the potential of comics to broaden our understanding of diverse cultures and people.
To celebrate the publication of John le Carré’s first memoir, Tom Hiddleston reads from The Night Manager. Don’t miss other leading actors reading le Carré’s work, and an exclusive extract from The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (Penguin), at theguardian.com on 3 September
I don’t regret my alcoholism anymore. Before, I left California my youngest son, Joel, came to breakfast. The same son I used to steal from, who had told me I wasn’t his mother. I cooked cheese blintzes; we drank coffee and read the paper, muttering to each other about Ricky Henderson, George Bush. Then he went to work. He kissed me and said So long, Ma. So long, I said.
All over the world mothers are having breakfast with their sons, seeing them off at the door. Can they know the gratitude I felt, standing there, waving? The reprieve. (From “So Long”)
We are honoured to welcome author Don DeLillo in the run-up to the launch of his latest novel Zero K.
Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Zero K, Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work, and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize. The Angel Esmeralda was a finalist for the 2011 Story Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In 2012, DeLillo received the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for his body of work.