Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Short Fiction Thrives in Magazines That Aren't Literary Journals: Hothouse Magazine, Queen's Quarterly, and Tikkun
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
"Witty, expansive, convincing, honest, more than a little mischievous and, so often, absolutely on the money, Thomson’s voice is one of the most distinctive and enjoyable in film criticism," says Benjamin Secher in The Telegraph.
A sixth edition of Thomson's best known work, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, was recently released by Knopf. In the introduction to the sixth edition, Thomson writes -- "Opinion can be emphatic, self-indulgent, cruel, tasteless -- and at times this book has suffered in those ways. But it can be creative, provocative, the start of a conversation." Thomson has mellowed and says that he no longer believes (as he did when writing the first edition of the Biographical Dictionary, published in 1975) that "not only must one like the right films but one must also like them for the right reasons" but the book remains a "mechanism for alerting you to films you have not seen and may never have heard of."
Dana Stevens of Slate calls The New Biographical Dictionary of Film the "book every movie lover should own" but warns that it is "the most idiosyncratic and deeply personal of a filmgoer’s journals masquerading as a reference work."
Thursday, June 26, 2014
|Playbill from Venus in Fur, |
Goodman Theatre, Chicago, March 2014
In this two-character black comedy, which runs for an intermission-less ninety minutes, a theater director is having trouble finding the right actress to play the lead in his stage version of Venus in Furs (note the plural), the 1870 novella of female sexual domination and male submission by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (and the origin of the word masochist). When a disheveled and seemingly lame-brained actress shows up late for her audition, she and the director's interaction strangely begins to blend with the themes of Sacher-Masoch's racy novella.
David Ives is a veteran playwright whose work has been produced professionally since the 1970s. His collection of one-act comedies, All in the Timing, was the most produced play of the 1995-1996 season.
A film version of Venus in Fur, directed by Roman Polanski, with a screenplay by Ives and Polanski, was released in June 2014.
According to Theater Communications Group, an organization of American regional theaters, Venus in Fur was produced by twenty-two of its member theaters, during the 2013-2014 season.
|Reese Madigan and Greta Wohlrabe in Venus|
in Fur, Milwaukee Rep, September 2013
In her review of San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater's production of Venus in Fur, Karen D'Souza of the San Jose Mercury News calls the play "a metatheatrical game of cat and mouse laced with titillation and plot twists" but adds that the "primary flaw in this play within a play is how easily you see into the heart of the matter. Loud echoes of everything from Genet's The Balcony to 50 Shades of Grey ensure that you see where this is going from the first kiss to the last slap."
Thursday, June 19, 2014
|C. Dale Young|
TCR Story of the Month highlights an outstanding work of short fiction published online within the preceding twelve months.
"The Fortunate," an intense, suspenseful story of woman who lives in dread of learning all of a fortune teller's prophecy, was published in Blackbird (Spring 2014).
C. Dale Young practices medicine full-time, edits poetry for New England Review, and teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, he is the author of four books of poetry. He recently completed the collection of stories The Affliction, which includes "The Fortunate." He lives in San Francisco.
"Some are good at digging up the past, and some are gifted with the ability to divine the future. Most people live squarely in the present without even the slightest knowledge that all of time coexists, that each era is simply a thin rind circling the current moment. Rosa Blanco was one of those people who lived in the present, but she was always obsessing about the past. In her small kitchen, she would, sometimes for hours, replay a moment in the past ten, maybe fifteen, times. Each time, she checked and rechecked what she had said, how she had said it, what she had done. But the old woman who lived a few doors away was a different type of woman. She lived in the present, but she lived for the future..."
Thursday, June 12, 2014
"Nature Walk" was published in Ploughshares (Spring 2014).
Dau, who worked in post-war reconstruction in the Balkans, recalls with masterful detail and a wry sense of humor the absurdities and dangers of everyday life in Sarajevo in the aftermath of war.
"'Nature Walk' is an excerpt from a longer work based around a period of time I spent in Bosnia in the 1990s," Dau explained to The Committee Room. "The excerpt consists of several early sections which have been reworked to make one stand-alone essay. In the book, however, these sections act a little differently, more as scene setting pieces than as a self-contained, free standing story. It comes directly from my experience, and as much as anything it is an effort to make sense of what I was doing there, and by extension what America and the West were doing there after the fall of communism and the Yugoslav wars, and by further extension what America and the West tend to do in lots of places around the world."
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Bestsellers List Revisited: 1974 (Fiction) -- An Interview with Jay Parini About "Burr" by Gore Vidal
In the spring of 1974, as the Watergate scandal that would bring down the presidency of Richard Nixon was playing out in the halls of Congress and across the news media, Vidal's Burr, a look at the American Revolution and Early Republic through the eyes of its darkest figure, Aaron Burr, was at the top of the New York Times fiction bestsellers list.
"How diabolically well-timed is the appearance of Gore Vidal's latest novel, Burr; just at this most disillusioning moment in American history when all the old verities are beginning to seem hollow, Mr. Vidal gives us an interpretation of our early history that says in effect that all the old verities were never much to begin with. And what a tour de force is the result!...What an employment for the usable past! What hagiography for the Nixon era!" wrote Christopher Lehmann-Haupt in the New York Times.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
|Author Martin Lindauer|
Martin Lindauer has published short fiction, essays, and memoirs in Glasschord Magazine, Long Story Short, New Vilna Review, Oracle, and other journals. A retired professor, he has published widely on psychology and the arts, including Aging, Creativity, and Art (2003); Psyche and the Literary Muses (2009); and The Expressiveness of Perceptual Experience: Physiognomy Reconsidered (2013). Lindauer is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and a graduate of the University of Illinois and The New School. He lives just outside San Francisco with his wife Bonnie and dog Archie.