At the Washington Post, Alyssa Rosenberg mourns the loss of Prince, who died yesterday aged fifty-seven, and cites his 2007 appearance at the Super Bowl, “this particular worship service dedicated to traditional masculinity,” as an argument for “a vastly huger range of possible ways for a man to command the nation.” Rosenberg also reminds us of Hilton Als’s great “paean 2 Prince,” from a 2012 issue of Harper’s. It’s not yet clear how far the star had gotten with his memoir, which he’d recently announced he was writing with the help of the Paris Review’s Dan Piepenbring (“a good critic. . . . Not a yes man”), but TMZ suggests there are at least fifty pages.
Richard Brody surveys the movie criticism of the underground legend Jonas Mekas on the New Cinema, recently reissued by Columbia University Press: “Some of the greatest pages in the book aren’t film criticism but reporting, on the tight and persecutorial reign of censorship that prevailed in New York, even in the nineteen-sixties. The most affecting passages detail those hardships—the poverty that many of the filmmakers he knew, and that he himself, bore, and the legal trouble that some of them, and that Mekas himself, faced as a result of New York’s, and the federal government’s, stringent enforcement of censorship laws.”
At Slate, Helaine Olen identifies a much-discussed essay in The Atlantic by film critic and historian Neal Gabler (on middle-class American poverty, including his own) as part of a familiar and dubious genre: “All the sad, broke literary men.”
Tonight, n+1 launches its new issue with a party at Signal Gallery in Brooklyn.