• September 23, 2013

    The anonymously authored Elimination Night is billed as a novel, with the standard disclaimer that “Any similarities to any persons…is coincidental.” Still, many readers have found it hard not to notice the significant similarities between the book and the TV show American Idol. Page Six has offered up some roman-a-clef speculations, with characters Bibi Vasquez and Joey Lovecraft—both rendered in broad strokes of ridiculousness—standing in for Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

    After shooting down Vanity Fair, the Hemingway estate has agreed to let Harper’s run a previously unpublished Hemingway story, “My Life in the Bull Ring with David Ogden Stewart.” Hemingway originally submitted the story to Vanity Fair in 1924, but was rejected at the time.

    Paris is trying to recapture its status as the literary capital of the world with a new international writing festival that kicks off this week with 28 writers from 18 countries, and will feature Salman Rushdie, John Banville, Richard Ford, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, David Grossman, Ma Jian and Michael Ondaatje, among others. A number of major French institutions are hosting the events, but ironically, the festival is being organized by two Americans, and is funded largely by Columbia University.

    The trailer has been released for the adaptation of yet another Jack Kerouac novel, Big Sur. The film is directed by Michael Polish and stars Jean-Marc Barr as Kerouac alter-ego Jack Duluoz.

    The Weinstein Company has announced plans to release an “extended” version of their widely-panned documentary Salinger, which will include bonus material about J.D. Salinger and “his complex relationships with young women.” Until then, we recommend you read Joyce Maynard’s account of her relationship with the author across a decades-wide age difference.

    At Dissent, Michael Walzer, Mark Levinson, Andy Merrifield, David Marcus, Todd Gitlin and Robert Christgau remember the late, great, Marshall Berman.

    In an extended interview with the Guardian, Stephen King notes his distaste for the Kubrick adaptation of The Shining, and shares his thoughts on contemporary mass fiction: “I read Twilight and didn’t feel any urge to go on with her,” King said. “I read The Hunger Games and didn’t feel an urge to go on…I read Fifty Shades of Grey and felt no urge to go on. They call it mommy porn, but it’s not really mommy porn. It is highly charged, sexually driven fiction for women who are, say, between 18 and 25.”