September 10, 2013

The FBI file on Charles Bukowski reveals that the life of the self-described “dirty old man” and poet laureate of American barflies wasn’t quite as risque as his work might have suggested. Last week, Open Culture published pages of the government’s 1968 Bukowski file on bukowski.com, and “it seems that the Feds had a hard time getting any dirt on the poet; some of the entries into his file primarily involve his neighbors admitting that they didn’t know much about the reserved but ribald postal worker … and that he was a quiet man who seldom had visitors.”

Slant is not impressed with Il Futuro, a movie adaptation about an as-of-yet-untranslated novella by Roberto Bolano.

Tonight in New York, poet Anne Carson will read “59 Paragraphs About Albertine,” a new work inspired by a Proust character.

In addition to releasing the debut album of her new band, Head/Body, and having a cameo on Girls, former Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon has been writing: She’s currently working on both a memoir and a collection of essays. The essay collection, about “1980s art and culture,” will be out “soon” with Sternberg Press, and the memoir, which will be published by HarperCollins, doesn’t have a release date yet.

If New York City is so great, wonders Bookforum columnist Choire Sicha, then why does it suck so much?

Margaret Atwood and Howard Jacobsen have agreed to rewrite contemporary versions of Shakespeare’s plays in honor of the 400th anniversary of his death. Atwood will be taking on The Taming of the Shrew, while Jacobsen has committed to The Merchant of Venice. Both will be published by the Hogarth imprint of Penguin Random House.

The dream of capitalism was supposed to be that the system would eventually be perfected to the extent that members of the workforce would only have to work 15 hours a week. But something else has happened, writes David Graeber: “Rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the ‘service’ sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries such as financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors such as corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources and public relations.” To defray these “bullshit jobs,” Graeber calls for a return to the dream of a 15-hour-workweek.

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