Wednesday June 16th, 2010

In the Ether

mgaitsMary Gaitskill walks around a bookstore, filmed by the folks at Stacked Up. She’s very candid and charming. And she gets big points from me for lifting up a copy of DeLillo’s White Noise and saying: “Actually, I didn’t like it so much. I feel free to say that because it’s like shooting spitballs at a tank.” She also praises what she’s currently reading, “one of the best things I’ve read in the last decade.” [OK, a reader took issue with my teasing Gaitskill's pick rather than naming it: The book she loves is Agaat by Marlene van Niekerk.] . . . It’s always fun to check in with Odd Books. The latest: Mans, Minerals and Masters by Charles W. Littlefield. (“Drawing on the (uncredited) work of the quack Schuessler, Littlefield’s researches gave him the idea that mineral salts in the body could respond to mental transmissions. They would do so by forming images of mystical import, visible through the microscope, which could not merely stop bleedings but were actually the root of life.”) . . . Carolyn Kellogg shares a “partial list” of today’s Bloomsday celebrations across the country. Not included is the celebration I’ll likely be attending tonight. . . . An ambitious summer project is underway: At the Summer of Genji, the Quarterly Conversation and Open Letters have teamed up to read 90 pages of The Tale of Genji every week until the end of August. . . . Omnivoracious kicks off a week dedicated to Alasdair Gray and his new novel with an interview by Jeff VanderMeer. . . . Alan Bisbort shares a long list of preferred baseball reading. . . . As part of World Cup fever — an affliction to which I seem perfectly immune — Sara at the New York Review cites a soccer-based passage from Envy by Yuri Olesha, a short novel that will be praised in passing by a reviewer here sometime in the coming days. . . . D. G. Myers expresses the heartbreak of leaving a stunning personal library behind.