Last month, NYRB Classics reissued William Gass’s On Being Blue. Tonight at the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, Joshua Cohen, Michael Gorra, and Stefanie Sobelle discuss the book, in a conversation moderated by Bookforum editor Albert Mobilio.
The New Republic profiles Karl Ove Knausgaard, author of My Struggle, a six-volume autobiographical novel that speaks in great detail about Knausgaard’s personal life, uses the real names of his family and friends, and has generated an enormous response worldwide. “It fills me with sadness every time I talk about it,” Knausgaard told TNR’s Evan Hughes. Meghan O’Rourke reviewed Volume Three for the latest issue of Bookforum.
Alice Gregory reflects reluctantly on The Opposite of Loneliness, the posthumously collected writings of Marina Keegan, a twenty-two-year-old who died in a car accident just after graduating from Yale. The book sat on Gregory’s “kitchen table for days, beside the salt cellar, a candle, and a bowl of tangerines. It might as well have been a skull.”
Is the Internet training our brains to read differently? The Washington Post suggests that if we want to keep reading long novels with complex sentences we’ll need to relearn how. Ideally, we’d be “bi-literate,” able both to skim online—jumping among keywords and taking in a lot of information quickly—as well as to start at the beginning of War and Peace, get to the end, and remember what happened in the middle.
The Paris Review is still accepting applications for its second annual writer’s residency at the Standard Hotel. The residency isn’t a leg-up situation: Applicants must already have a book under contract.