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Lehman Bros. Responsible For Collapse of Art in America

from the Washington Post

Arts Groups Fret the Woes Of Big Donors 

By David Segal and Jacqueline Trescott

Washington Post Staff Writers and Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 18, 2008; Page C01 

Katy Clark knows that this is a deeply awkward moment to ask Lehman Brothers for $50,000 — a bit like showing up in the smoldering aftermath of a Road Runner explosion and asking for a match.

But two years ago, the then-flush investment bank gave Manhattan’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s 50 grand for a music education program, and as the organization’s vice president of operations, Clark is hoping that in its death throes, the company just might cut one last check. She has traded a few e-mails with her Lehman contacts in recent days, but she hasn’t raised the subject.

“Timing is everything,” she said. “They need time to figure what’s coming next.”

With Wall Street in a shame spiral, “What’s coming next?” is a question that has everyone in the arts community taking big, anxious gulps. Lehman may never hand out another charitable dime; the immediate future of the firm’s philanthropic foundation, like everything else about it, is now a matter of bankruptcy law. But the fear isn’t limited to those groups that were getting money from corporate America’s recently deceased and badly wounded. There’s agita all around.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Posted on September 18, 2008 by Editor

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The Greatest Pitch Ever Thrown

Posted on September 17, 2008 by Editor

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Untitled Books

from UntitledBooks.com

James Frey
Friday, September 05, 2008

james_frey

James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard, and the new Bright Shiny Morning, tells us how he writes.

Where are you right now?  

Amagansett, NY. At my desk.

Where do you write?

Sometimes here, sometimes New York City. Have desks in both places. Sometimes I sit on a couch in front of the TV.

How do you write?

Just sit down and work. Focus on one sentence at a time. Never self-edit, never go back. I don’t use outlines figure everything out as I go.

What keeps you writing?

I love it, and it’s my job.

Who do you write for?

For myself, and for the readers who support me.

Do you discuss your work with anyone?

Not really. At least not while I’m writing something. I end up discussing it when it’s finished because that’s part of the job.

How do you know if your work is good?

I just believe it is.

Do you have any unwritten characters in mind?

Hundreds.

Which book do you wish you’d written?

A Season in Hell, by Arthur Rimbaud

What is your literary guilty pleasure?

Detective books. I love detective books. Chandler, Hammett, Spillane, Simenon.

Which writer made you want to write?

Many, but Henry Miller probably had the most influence. He lit me up. Still does.

Who’s the most exciting author writing today?

Most are pretty boring. I’d probably say Michel Houellebecq. One of the few who invites controversy, instead of hiding from it.

If you weren’t writing you’d be…?

No idea. Can’t imagine another life.

What next?

The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. And I’m not joking.

[ click to visit Untitled Books ]

Posted on September 17, 2008 by Editor

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Poetry a-Twitter

from The Telegraph UK

Poetry’s popularity soars online

By Stephen Adams

Poetry, long thought of as an art form in terminal decline, is taking off on the internet according to new figures.

 
Andrew Motion
Recognising the potential of the internet for poetry: Andrew Motion

The British-based Poetry Archive has released statistics that visitors to its website are now viewing a total of more than one million pages a month.

More than 125,000 individuals – or unique users – have visited the site, which hosts poems and audio readings by the poets themselves.

Andrew Motion, the British Poet Laureate, who co-founded the Poetry Archive in 2005, said of the figures: “It’s giving the lie to the idea that nobody reads poems any more.”

He thought the internet was providing a better medium for poetry than books. “Either books have not been doing the job or they are being outmanoeuvred by the internet.”

Emily Warn, editor of the Poetry Foundation, added: “Andrew Motion was one of the first to recognise that the internet is allowing millions of people to experience poetry in its oldest form — as an oral art form.

click to read full article at The Telegraph ] 

Posted on September 17, 2008 by Editor

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James Frey Interview in the Sydney Morning Herald

from the Sydney Morning Herald

James Frey is back to merge fact with fiction

Itchy fingers … James Frey in Sydney this week.

Itchy fingers … James Frey in Sydney this week. Photo: Peter Rae 

September 18, 2008

JAMES FREY’S fat, new novel, Bright Shiny Morning, carries an aggressive disclaimer: “Nothing in this book should be considered accurate or reliable.” It’s fiction, so why does he need to remind us? Read on, though, and you encounter earnest historical snippets about the city of Los Angeles, inserted among the made-up lives of a closeted gay actor, a homeless alcoholic, a housekeeper and a runaway teenage couple. But beware. “It’s maybe 80 per cent true,” says Frey of his pseudo-history.

It is disorienting to learn, for example, that Howard Caughy, who bought LA’s first automobile and died in a crash three weeks later, is a confection named after a friend of Frey. And that three of the four gangs in the city’s first gang war in 1906 are made up.

This mixing of fact, fiction and faction is a clever joke on readers and, even more, on the media. “I did it very deliberately to give the finger,” says Frey, drinking a double cappuccino during a brief stop in Sydney on his way to the Brisbane Writers’ Festival.

Fifteen years after his last drink, he still has the intense, obsessive energy of the ex-addict.

Not everyone gets the joke. His US publisher, HarperCollins, made him sign a 40-page document detailing exactly which parts of the book were true and which weren’t. They have reason to be anxious.

Three years ago, Oprah Winfrey devoted her television book club to A Million Little Pieces, Frey’s 2003 memoir about a gruelling two months he spent in a rehab clinic recovering from a youth of alcoholism, drug addiction, violence and near-death. The book – already a bestseller – went on to sales of 6 million in the US, 8 million around the world and almost 100,000 in Australia. In the sequel, My Friend Leonard, he wrote about his return to “normal” life under protection from a Mafia boss.

Months after Winfrey’s tearful promotion, an investigative website exposed parts of Frey’s books as being fabricated to make him look tougher than he was. He had not spent three months in jail, it was a matter of hours. His role in a woman’s death was invented. Excruciating dentistry was not, as graphically described, done without drugs.

Winfrey demanded another appearance by Frey to confess and apologise. Labelled a liar, he was hounded by the media, dumped by his publisher, and hit with a class-action suit by “cheated” readers.

He retorted that he had tried to sell the book as fiction but Nan Talese, the respected Random House publisher, insisted memoir would sell better.

The books now appear with remorseful notes to readers, who continue to buy them in large numbers. A Million Little Pieces is “90 per cent true”, he says now; My Friend Leonard somewhat less.

To his credit, Frey has lifted his life out of chaos and kept on writing. He lives in New York’s SoHo with his wife, Maya, and their three-year-old daughter. His friends are artists, bankers and just a few writers. After a stint writing and directing in Hollywood, he prefers art essays and his own compelling brand of literature.

‘ “I had no intention of writing a book that would sell 100 copies and get a write-up in the local paper,” he says. “My goal was to be one of the most influential and most important writers of my time. I wanted my writing to be unlike anything that preceded it, devoid of influence, unique, new, fresh and reflective of the time we live in. I wasn’t a guy burning to tell my story of recovery; that was just the best story I had.”

Frey’s writing is instantly recognisable for its minute detail, repetitive sentences, minimal punctuation and incantatory rhythms, which he writes while listening to music. He dislikes labels such as “memoir” and “novel”, and rather sees his books as “art”. His literary heroes are rule-breakers such as Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski and Arthur Rimbaud. They blurred fact and fiction, he says, and all got “massacred”.

Frey admits he made mistakes. Still, he has emerged with his confidence intact. In the US he does stage appearances with rock bands and video screens. Young readers flock to his Facebook and MySpace pages.

“I’m just one of those punk kids on a skateboard trying to get into trouble,” he says. So, for his next trick, he is writing a book about a New Yorker who believes he is the Messiah. He calls it “the third book of the Bible”.
Is it all true? He gives me a challenging look and replies: “Were the first two?”

[ click to read at the Sydney Morning  Herald ]

Posted on September 17, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News | | 1 Comment »

Baba-Booey Nipple Rape Airs On CNN

from TOWLEROAD

HOWARD STERN REGULARS STAGE GAY KISS OUTSIDE LEHMAN BROTHERS

Lehmangaykiss

Sal “the Stockbroker” Governale and Richard Christy, two Howard Stern regulars, staged a gay kiss and nipple-biting session in front of Lehman Brothers while CNN’s Allan Chernoff reported on the firm’s bankruptcy in the foreground.

I’m not quite sure what message of consolation their stunt brings, though it’s hard to imagine anyone walking their desks out of Lehman was laughing.

[ click to read at TOWLEROAD blog ]

Posted on September 17, 2008 by Editor

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“You know – I just write books.”

from The Age

Enter the Frey

Michael Lallo
September 17, 2008

James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning proves his career is not in a million little pieces.

ON THE first page of Bright Shiny Morning is what appears to be a standard disclaimer: “Nothing in this book should be considered accurate or reliable.”

But the author of this novel is James Frey, the drug addict turned “recovery super boy” who made Oprah very, very mad. Who was vilified by The New York Times. Who was hounded by reporters and denounced as a literary fraud for fictionalising parts of his memoir, A Million Little Pieces. Which is why those first 10 words are no ordinary disclaimer.

“That sentence is really just me raising my two middle fingers and saying ‘I’m going to do what I want and I’ll do it how I want’,” Frey says from his hotel room in Sydney. “And I don’t care what the people who believe it’s their job to decide what is and is not literature think.”

In any other writer, this couldn’t-give-a-damn attitude might seem contrived. But with Frey, it’s real — you don’t recover from a media crucifixion to write a critically acclaimed novel without a tough skin.

And Bright Shiny Morning is as bold as it is big. The sprawling, 500-page epic features dozens of characters, from a closeted film star to an alcoholic tramp. The central character, however, is the city of Los Angeles.

“Tolstoy did it with St Petersburg, Dickens did it with London and Hugo did it with Paris,” Frey says. “But nobody had even attempted it with LA. I think the film and entertainment industry looms very large over that place. Writers and artists from LA often struggle with it — how can you be serious but also be from the place where they made Iron Man?”

LA’s ritzy veneer is just one of its many facets explored by Frey, with the immigrant underclass, homeless drifters and suburban homemakers all fleshing out this portrait of a city.

Not surprisingly, it’s also the most heavily vetted book HarperCollins has ever published. Before it was released, Frey was ordered to verify every piece of historical trivia scattered throughout its pages. About three-quarters is factual and the rest he made up, leaving the reader to guess what’s real.

Although he spent two years writing it, Frey didn’t find a publisher until it was finished. His previous publisher dropped him after the A Million Little Pieces scandal erupted in 2006.

That scandal was briefly reported around the world, but in the United States it took on a life of its own. Even Dick Cheney shooting his pal in the face failed to knock Frey off the front pages. His crime, as revealed by The Smoking Gun website, was to have exaggerated or made up parts of his best-selling book about his recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The three months he spent in prison turned out to be three hours. He falsely presented himself as a victim of a real train crash that killed two girls. And there was no run-in with the Ohio police.

Frey isn’t the first memoirist to take creative liberties — but he is one of the few to have his work become an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Initially, the talk show queen stood by him, dismissing the furore as “much ado about nothing”. But when Oprah’s fans turned on her, she turned on Frey, hauling him onto her show to explain himself. Relentlessly, she interrogated and admonished him while the audience jeered. And now that Oprah was part of the story, every newspaper and television station in the country was covering it.

Does Frey suspect her about-face was actually motivated by a desire to save her own hide?

“You’d have to ask Oprah that,” he says. “I’m not going to speak for her.”

But he does believe the whole affair was little more than a beat-up. “It was totally media-driven,” he says. “The statistics of the (reader lawsuit) bear that out. Only 1700 of 4.5 million eligible people asked for their money back. If that’s my customer satisfaction ratio, I’m fine with that.”

And although the book was printed in more than 30 languages, not one of his international publishers dropped him. Still, the ordeal took its toll, forcing Frey to seek refuge in France for two months.

But judging by his next novel about a New York man who believes he is the messiah, he has no intention to play it safe.
“I want to explore how religion has been used and distorted in nasty ways,” he says. “Under Bush, we’ve seen the gradual erosion of the separation of church and state. I’m not going to let somebody who believes in a god that I don’t believe in tell me that I have to live my life in a certain way. The book is going to be a statement on religion and belief, and tolerance and intolerance.”

It’s easy to imagine that writing fiction must be liberating for Frey — although he’s not so sure.

“You know, I just write books. I didn’t approach Bright Shiny Morning any differently to any other book. My goal, every time I sit down, is to create a work of literary art. And whatever the publisher calls it — whatever they stick on the side — is irrelevant.”

James Frey will speak at 6.30pm tonight at Readings Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Road. Bookings: 9819 1917

[ click to read at TheAge.com.au ]

Posted on September 16, 2008 by Editor

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Russian Ratmansky Invades American Ballet

from the New York Times

DANCE

New Home for an Artist, New Hope for American Ballet Theater

Jennifer Taylor for The New York Times

Alexei Ratmansky’s “Bright Stream,” with Anastasia Yatsenko, center, at the Metropolitan Opera House. 

Wednesday’s news that Alexei Ratmansky, the departing artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, has been appointed artist in residence at American Ballet Theater came as a major surprise. These are glad tidings.

Ballet Theater is a major company that needs a resident choreographer. For years it has been churning out its gifted but varied dancers across a range of largely stale productions; Mr. Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon are the two most able and remarkable choreographers working in international ballet. Since Mr. Ratmansky announced earlier this year that he was leaving his job as artistic director of the Bolshoi, anyone who has admired his work must have been hoping he would soon find a company worthy of his talents.

In the context of Russian ballet over the last 80 years, Mr. Ratmansky looked like a mold-breaker. The Soviet Union certainly produced some very popular choreographers, notably Leonid Lavrovsky (whose “Romeo and Juliet,” though short on real dancing, was the Bolshoi’s great sensation in the 1940s and ’50s) and Yuri Grigorovich (whose “Spartacus,” though trashy in its repetitious slam-bam emphasis, packed an irresistible punch from the late ’60s to the late ’80s). The late Soviet period produced Boris Eifman, whose often ludicrous choreography managed to stir audiences and win some degree of international acclaim even in this decade.

“Romeo” and “Spartacus” did much to define everyone’s idea of the Bolshoi in those decades. Mr. Ratmansky has not yet choreographed any hit remotely as big. Perhaps he never will. Still, he seems the finest Russian choreographer — in terms of dance poetry — since George Balanchine, who left Russia in 1924.

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on September 16, 2008 by Editor

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Warhol and the Sri Lankan Tsunami

from the Telegraph UK

Andy Warhol and artist ‘who never existed’

An auction of paintings by an artist believed to have worked alongside Andy Warhol has been postponed over claims he may not have existed

By Lucy Cockcroft
Last Updated: 9:11AM BST 16 Sep 2008

Works by Pietro Psaier have appeared at sales all over the world, including several held by Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams, attracting prices of up to £14,000.

They were given added kudos by the claim that Psaier worked in Warhol’s studio, the Factory, and that the pair were friends who collaborated on several pieces.

However, officials at the Andy Warhol Foundation have come forward to say they have never heard of Psaier, and suggested that the whole relationship may have been a hoax.

The auctioneer John Nicholson, of Fernhurst, Surrey, the leading Psaier dealer, is trying to prove his existence and has even hired a researcher. In the meantime, he has been forced to delay the latest sale of Psaier’s work, which had been scheduled for tomorrow.

The artist is said to have been born in Italy and lived a nomadic life before he was killed by the tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004, although his body has never been recovered. There are also few official documents and witnesses to help prove the story.

[ click to read full article at the Telegraph ]

Posted on September 16, 2008 by Editor

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The Guilt Was Plastered All Over Her Face

Posted on September 16, 2008 by Editor

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“This Much I Know” interview with James Frey

from the Guardian UK 

This much I know

James Frey, writer, 38, London 

 

James Frey

American author James Frey now lives in London. Photograph: Antonio Olmos

Since I was 24 or so, my goal has always been to be a great writer,to be one of the most influential, most controversial, most widely read literary figures of my time. The only ambition I have is to write great books or fail absolutely trying.

I’ve been in conflict with everything for my whole life. That’s the rule, not the exception. Conflict with myself over ideas of how to live and think, what to think, what to believe. My wife laughs and says I’m only comfortable when there’s a fight.

I’ve been sober for 15 years,
 so I’m pretty used to it. There are days I wish I could drink. You drink so you don’t have to feel something, and when you feel something deeply it can be difficult. Every day going through the Oprah scandal [Frey admitted fabricating sections of his memoir A Million Little Pieces on Oprah] I just wanted to make it go away, but if I started drinking or using again I would lose a whole lot else.

A Million Little Pieces is the most investigated book in American history. No other work of literature has been put under the microscope in the way that was – it was shocking.

I don’t believe in God or a higher power. I believe that you shouldn’t be allowed to impose morality on people because a book written several thousand years ago says so. My next book is about a secular Jew in New York who comes to believe he’s the Messiah. It’s my idea of what 
the Messiah would be like if he were alive today. It’s a very serious, very heavy book. 

During the Oprah stuff I called Brett Easton Ellis
 and said: ‘Dude, what do I do?’, and he laughed and said: ‘You have so far exceeded any of the messes I made that I can no longer give you advice.’ 

I don’t have any real interest in drinking in moderation.


I don’t think of Bright Shiny Morning as my starting out as a novelist. 
I would be naive to think that the past will be forgotten, but I hope it will eventually be seen as part of a larger body of work that explores questions of fact and fiction and do they matter.

I walk down the street in America
 and I get stopped all the time; I get recognised a lot. I talk to readers on the street, and I’ve never had one say anything bad to me or attack me.

I think the problem is with the genre. Memoir is a corrupt genre – there are no rules, there’s no definition. People want great readable literary experiences, and it can be difficult to provide that and stay focused on perfect factual truth.

I’m definitely more humble now than I have been at other times in my life. I think success can humble you as much as failure, because success is as empty as failure.

That life I lived: people end up dying young. There’s no happy ending to a life of addiction.

If my daughter is going to drink when she’s older, I’m just going to say: ‘Look, Daddy had a lot of problems with it. Be very careful: if you ever have any questions, come talk to me.’ But the idea that my children are going to go through life without ever drinking is incredibly naive and ridiculous. But I don’t sit and worry about things that haven’t happened yet.

My intentions were always literary and artistic. I never intended A Million Little Pieces to be a self-help book – if anything, it was intended to be an insult to the self-help industry, but at some point it became part of it.

If I’m the guy who destroyed the memoir genre, I’m not unhappy about that.

· Bright Shiny Morning is published by John Murray at £12.99

[ click to read interview at the Guardian ]

Posted on September 15, 2008 by Editor

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Project Birds

from the LA Times

Birds keep man’s life from tumbling out of control

Bobby Wilson made some bad decisions growing up in Watts. His hobby pigeons and their freewheeling somersaults helped straighten his life out, and now he’s passing on his expertise.

By Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Bobby Wilson, a.k.a. Kill Kill, is a roller pigeon fancier — has been since he was a little boy in the projects in Watts. 

He was walking his dog down Holmes Avenue when he first spotted the birds flying above Eddie Scott’s house. He watched in wonder as they whirled and somersaulted through the sky. Bobby was 9 years old and a serial collector of animals — spiders, red ants, hamsters, lizards. But he’d never seen this. 

“You better not come in my yard!” Mr. Scott barked. Someone had just stolen a few of his top rollers and he was not happy. 

The year was 1981. Mr. Scott drove a city trash truck, owned one of the nicest houses in Watts and had no tolerance for wayward children. He’d raised pigeons since his own childhood in the early 1960s, and some of his rollers came right down the line from the world’s great prophet of roller pigeoning, William H. Pensom, the late English master who lived over the hill in Canoga Park.

Bobby wasn’t going into Mr. Scott’s yard, but he sure as heck was coming back. Day after day he sat under the big shade tree across the street and watched those birds do their acrobatics, spiraling up and then wheeling down like falling angels.

“Come here,” Mr. Scott finally said one day.

[ click to continue reading in the LA Times ]

Posted on September 15, 2008 by Editor

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James Frey at THE BRISBANE WRITERS FESTIVAL

bwfbanner.gif

Language is the defining feature of our humanity. It separates us from all other life on the planet. Language allows us to communicate the complex experience of our existence with deftness and subtlety. The written form allows communication to transcend time, so we can reach backwards into history and forward into the future. A writers’ festival not only celebrates our common humanity but defines us as a society in time and place.

The Brisbane Writers Festival is more than a Festival for writers, it’s for everyone who reads. From the world’s headlines, climate change, China or the US Elections, BWF is an event that has meaning and relevance to every single one of us, in every aspect of our lives. This year, there are strong personal voices emanating from the pages of the Festival’s books.

The 2008 festival will bring together approximately 220 writers from around the world including some of the world’s leading authors including the winners of some of the world’s most prestigious literary awards including the Man Booker Prize, the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize as well as the winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

We welcome many fine writers including, for the first time to Australia,Yann Martel (Life of Pi), the winner of the Reuters Foundation Best Environmental Reporter in the World, Alanna Mitchell, Lloyd Jones(Mister Pip) Kate Grenville with the world exclusive release of her new novel The Lieutenant, Robert Drewe, Simon Winchester, biographerRichard Holmes, Chris Abani, Lawrence Hill, Gwynne Dyer, the controversial James Frey, Mahvish Khan – an interpreter at Guantanamo Bay, and many more to excite, challenge and entertain you.

 

[ click to visit THE BRISBANE WRITERS FESTIVAL site ]

Posted on September 15, 2008 by Editor

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Does anyone have Kylie Minogue’s Phone Number?

from Bild.de

Aussie popstar Kylie Minogue might become a lesbian to find love

AUSSIE POPSTAR CAN’T FIND LOVE WITH A MANKylie Minogue might become a lesbian

 

It’s hard to believe, but sexy Australian singer Kylie Minogue has apparently had so much trouble finding a man that she is considering becoming a lesbian.

 

In an interview with ‘The Sun’, the popstar expressed her admiration for late film star Tallulah Bankhead, who was a celebrated bisexual icon in the 40s and 50s.

Kylie said: “I’d go gay for her. She was a fascinating and exotic woman. There was so much to admire about her.”

The singer also expressed her admiration for the late movie star’s free-spirited lifestyle: “She lived life to the full, maybe a little too fully. I want to release the inner Tallulah in me.”

And finally, the big shock: “God knows I can’t get a man — so maybe I should cross over.”

[ click to read article at bild.de ]

Posted on September 14, 2008 by Editor

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David Foster Wallace Reading

Posted on September 14, 2008 by MJS

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Unbelievable

David Foster Wallace is gone.

from the New York Times

David Foster Wallace, 46, Writer, Dies

Marion Ettlinger

David Foster Wallace

 CLAREMONT, Calif. (AP) — David Foster Wallace, the author best known for his 1996 novel ”Infinite Jest,” was found dead in his home, according to police. He was 46.

Wallace’s wife found her husband had hanged himself when she returned home about 9:30 p.m. Friday, said Jackie Morales, a records clerk with the Claremont Police Department.

Wallace taught creative writing and English at nearby Pomona College.

”He cared deeply for his students and transformed the lives of many young people,” said Dean Gary Kates. ”It’s a great loss to our teaching faculty.”

Wallace’s first novel, ”The Broom of the System,” gained national attention in 1987 for its ambition and offbeat humor. The New York Times said the 24-year-old author ”attempts to give us a portrait, through a combination of Joycean word games, literary parody and zany picaresque adventure, of a contemporary America run amok.”

Published in 1996, ”Infinite Jest” cemented Wallace’s reputation as a major American literary figure. The 1,000-plus-page tome, praised for its complexity and dark wit, topped many best-of lists. Time Magazine named ”Infinite Jest” in its issue of the ”100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.”

Wallace received a ”genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 1997.

In 2002, Wallace was hired to teach at Pomona in a tenured English Department position endowed by Roy E. Disney. Kates said when the school began searching for the ideal candidate, Wallace was the first person considered.

”The committee said, ‘we need a person like David Foster Wallace.’ They said that in the abstract,” Kates said. ”When he was approached and accepted, they were heads over heels. He was really the ideal person for the position.”

Wallace’s short fiction was published in Esquire, GQ, Harper’s, The New Yorker and the Paris Review. Collections of his short stories were published as ”Girl With Curious Hair” and ”Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.”

He wrote nonfiction for several publications, including an essay on the U.S. Open for Tennis magazine and a profile of the director David Lynch for Premiere.

Born in Ithaca, N.Y., Wallace attended Amherst College and the University of Arizona

[ click to read at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on September 13, 2008 by JF

Filed under Literary News | | 1 Comment »

Balloon Dog at Versailles

from the New York Times

At the Court of the Sun King, Some All-American Art

Ed Alcock for The New York Times

“Balloon Dog” by Jeff Koons at the Château de Versailles exhibition. More Photos>

At the Court of the Sun King, Some All-American Art

VERSAILLES, France — An aluminum red lobster hangs from the ceiling alongside a crystal chandelier in the Mars Salon. A plexiglass-encased display of vacuum cleaners and floor polishers sits in front of the official portrait of Marie Antoinette. And an open-mouthed, bare-breasted blonde holding a pink panther seems to be laughing at a 1729 painting of Louis XV conferring peace upon Europe.

America has invaded the gilded chambers and sculptured gardens of the Château de Versailles in the form of a much-debated exhibition by the American superstar artist Jeff Koons.

Versailles in recent years has displayed only a few select works of contemporary artists, and even then they were shown ever so briefly. The exhibition of 17 Koons sculptures marks the first time that the chateau built by Louis XIV has organized so ambitious a retrospective of one contemporary artist. “Jeff Koons Versailles,” which opened on Wednesday, will continue until Dec. 14.

Mr. Koons expressed delight that the first retrospective ever of his work in France is at Versailles. After all, nearly 5 million people visit the chateau, and 8 to 10 million stroll the gardens every year, according to official Versailles figures.

“I’m thrilled with the totality of the whole experience,” he said Wednesday as he posed for photographers in the palace gardens in front of “Split-Rocker,” his 11-ton stainless-steel sculpture covered in 90,000 live flowers and plants. “It’s so profound — the high point of my artistic life.”

Not everyone here was as pleased by the installation. Several dozen people demonstrated outside the palace gates early Wednesday, a protest organized by the National Union of Writers of France, a little-known, right-wing group dedicated to artistic purity in France.

The exhibition “strikes at the heart of a civilization” and “is an outrage to Marie Antoinette,” said Arnaud-Aaron Upinsky, the group’s chairman.

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on September 13, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | 2 Comments »

Take a look ahead…

Now if you’re feelin’ kinda low ’bout the dues you’ve been paying
Future’s coming much too slow
And you wanna run but somehow you just keep on stayin’
Can’t decide on which way to go
Yeah, yeah, yeah

I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Now you’re climbin’ to the top of the company ladder
Hope it doesn’t take too long
Can’tcha see there’ll come a day when it won’t matter
Come a day when you’ll be gone

I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead!

Now everybody’s got advice they just keep on givin’
Doesn’t mean too much to me
Lot’s of people out to make-believe they’re livin’
Can’t decide who they should be.

I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead. Look ahead.

(Scholz)

Posted on September 13, 2008 by Editor

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Jesus H. Ska

Posted on September 13, 2008 by Editor

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At Play On The Runway

from The New York Observer

James Frey Brings His Daughter for a Playdate at Cynthia Rowley’s Show

 

 

Tatum O'Neal and Julia Stiles at Cynthia Rowley. Getty Images

 

At Cynthia Rowley’s show on Sept. 11 at a loft in Chelsea, three little girls ran around the runway, tugging at their parents’ arms and climbing on and off the chairs in the front row.

There was 4-year-old Maren Frey, the platinum blond, adorable little daughter of Bright Shiny Morning author James Frey and wife, Maya. Tiny Maren was outfitted in a white dress, silver sandals, and a string of pearls for her Fashion Week debut. Gigi Clementine, a 3-year-old dressed in a tiny floral number, was the daughter of Ms. Rowley and husband, author Bill Powers (wearing silver sneakers), who was seated next to the Freys. The third girl, a brunette in a blue dress, looked to be around the same age and spent much of her time on the lap of actress Tatum O’Neal, who as far as we know has not given birth in the last five years. (Perhaps a niece?)

Mr. Frey’s presence at the show was not surprising. When Daily Transom found the author in the front row of Ms. Rowley’s show in September 2006, he insisted he was dragged to the show by his wife, who is apparently very into fashion. (When we caught up with the spouses in 2006, Mrs. Frey was in Hermes and Prada, and Mr. Frey was wearing Hanes, Adidas, and J. Crew.) To yesterday’s show, Mr. Frey wore an untucked white polo shirt, khakis, and sneakers.

Ms. O’Neal was seated in the front row next to Julia Stiles and several seats away from author Candace Bushnell and actor Alan Cumming, who was (embarrassingly!) wearing the same plaid blazer as Mr. Powers. Across the runway were the Freys seated next to Mr. Powers and his little girl in the front row.

As the bleacher stands at Ms. Rowley’s show began to fill up with editors and guests at 3 p.m. (the scheduled time for the show), the girls ran between the adults seated across the runway from each other, bumping into the photographers who were snapping photos of the front row guests. By the time the show began at 3:40, the girls seemed to have worn themselves out and all three settled into the laps of Mr. Frey and Mr. Powers. And once the models began to come down the runway, the girls watched with interest and when inspired, raised their heads to deliver their reviews to the adults.

[ click to read at Observer.com ]

Posted on September 12, 2008 by Editor

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“Some day a real rain is gonna come and wash the scum the filth.”

from the LA Times

 Bringing L.A.’s alleys out of the shadows

Urban planners re-imagine the city’s concrete connectors as community oases, replacing trash and crime with trees, grass and swing sets — and civic leaders are paying attention.

By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer September 12, 2008

 

At the southern tip of Los Angeles, stashed behind railroad cars and fuel depots, is a pillbox of a community center called Mahar House.

Inside, there is a tiny library for kids, with titles by C.S. Lewis and a biography of Paul Revere. In a classroom down the hall, equations used to teach parents the value of building credit are on a chalkboard. In the front room, volunteers give away food they’ve rescued from markets that were going to throw it away.

It’s the kind of place you root for.

Behind it, almost inevitably, is the kind of place you try to avoid.

The alley smells like urine and is lined with cinder-block walls, some topped with razor wire that catches stray plastic bags on windy days. Brown weeds hide a strange array of items: a sock, a broken string of cheap, plastic beads. Someone has dumped a sagging, torn armchair and a filthy mattress.

Men stash stolen cars there, with wires poking out where the stereos used to be, but that’s not the worst of it, said Paula Juarez, who raised two daughters here in Wilmington. Others have been caught peering into apartments, she said. The other day, one tried to talk a 5-year-old girl into taking her clothes off.

The alley, like so many others in L.A., is the scourge of the neighborhood. But a growing coalition of researchers, urban planners, public land advocates and government leaders say it doesn’t have to be that way. Alleys, they argue, could offer enormous environmental and public health benefits — if they could be turned green.

[ click to continue reading at the Los Angeles Times ]

Posted on September 12, 2008 by Editor

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James Frey Australian Tour

SYDNEY
Tuesday 16th September
7pm, The New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown.
Bookings through Better Read than Dead Bookshop, Ph: + 61 2 9557 8700

MELBOURNE
Wednesday 17th September
6.30pm Readings Bookshop Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, Ph: + 61 3 9341 7726

BRISBANE (Brisbane Writer’s Festival) tickets available for all BWF sessions:http://www.brisbanewriters festival.com.au/
Or available on the day from the box office.

Thursday 18th September
3.40pm BWF SESSION: A Biography by Any Other Name James Frey, John Hughes, Lloyd Jones
Venue: Queensland Terrace, State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank, Brisbane

Friday 19th September
10.30am BWF EVENT: QLD University presentation, James Frey
Venue: QLD University Campus, Art Museum, building 11 on University Drive

12.40pm BWF SESSION: From Brisbane to LA Ian Commins, Simon Cleary, James Frey
Venue: Queensland Terrace, State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank, Brisbane

Saturday 20th September
3.20pm BWF SESSION Bright Shiny Morning: James Frey in conversation with the Literary Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald
Venue: Auditorium 1, State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank, Brisbane

Posted on September 12, 2008 by Editor

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Pilobolus

Posted on September 12, 2008 by Editor

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PICTURE PERFECT for John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz

Picture Perfect - Images and Shapes in Seventies and Eighties Vinyl

Picture Perfect

Images and Shapes in Seventies & Eighties Vinyl
Culled from the collections of George Meredith

September 16th to October 12th 2008
Please join us for a reception
Tuesday, September 16th from 6 to 8p.m.

Visit our website for more information.

----------

50 1/2 East 64th Street
New York, New York 10065
P: 212.754.5626
www.johnmcwhinnie.com

Gallery Hours
Tues thru Fri: 10am to 6pm
Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays

----------

Posted on September 11, 2008 by Editor

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Damien Does TIME

from TIME Magazine

Damien Hirst: Bad Boy Makes Good

For more than a decade Damien Hirst has been one of the richest and most famous artists in the world. All the same, when you sit down with him, he still seems surprised by it. “I grew up with quite an impoverished background,” he says. “I didn’t see any possibility that I would ever get paid for doing anything 
 I enjoyed.” Hirst tells me this one rainy afternoon in July at one of his many studios. This one is in Stroud, a rural town in Gloucestershire, about two hours’ drive west of London. When he says this I think immediately about the bull in the next room, which I’m pretty sure he enjoyed coming up with, and very sure he’s about to be paid for. A lot, actually.

The bull is called The Golden Calf and it’s headed to market at Sotheby’s in London, where it will be the star of a much hyped two-day sale of 223 works by Hirst that begins on Sept. 15. This will be the first time any auction house has sold a quantity of work fresh out of an artist’s studio. As auction prices for contemporary art have rocketed ever higher, galleries have been dreading this very possibility: that a famous artist would bypass his dealers — who usually get a cut of roughly half of a work’s sale price — and make straight for the auction houses. (The auctioneer’s fee is paid by the buyer on top of the sale price, which means Hirst will walk away with pretty much every dollar his work gets hammered down for.) If it meets expectations, the sale could put about $120 million into Hirst’s already well-lined pockets, a payday unlike anything any living artist has seen. And The Golden Calf will be the prime lot, with a presale estimate of $14.6 million to $22 million. Sometimes a bull is truly a cash cow.

And also a very witty performance. The Golden Calf is a white bullock preserved in a tank of formaldehyde that’s mounted on a high marble plinth. His hooves and horns are 18-carat gold. His head is crowned by a gold Egyptian solar disk. Seen head-on, he’s a false idol whose headgear is simultaneously silly and mesmerizing. (Hirst is assuming his buyers know the Bible story about worshipping a false god, just like the one they are about to worship.) But the beast is best seen in profile, the view that leaves you to reconcile as best you can his hieratic gravity with the laugh-out-loud abundance of his genitals. When Hirst is good, he’s good, and The Golden Calf is a nimble concoction, designed to all at once beguile, flatter and parody the big-swinging billionaires who are likely to bid on it.

Going once. Going twice.

[ click to read full article ]

Posted on September 10, 2008 by Editor

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When Pad Thai Is Corruption

from the Financial Times

Thai PM forced out over TV chef role

By Amy Kazmin in Bangkok

Published: September 9 2008 11:22 | Last updated: September 9 2008 18:48

Samak Sundaravej, Thailand’s prime minister, was ordered on Tuesday to resign from his post by the constitutional court, which ruled that he had violated constitutional conflict-of-interest rules by making paid-for guest appearances on a television cooking programme after taking office.

The verdict is the latest bizarre twist in a destructive political stand-off pitting Mr Samak, 73, a conservative, against dogged protesters and influential Thais who believe that he is a proxy for Thaksin Shinawatra, the controversial former prime minister ousted in a 2006 coup.

Mr Samak, the leader of the People’s Power party, which is packed with loyal Thaksin allies, has been resisting intense pressure to stand down since August 26, when members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy seized his offices, vowing to remain until he quit.

But while Mr Samak has refused to yield – even declaring a state of emergency last week in a futile attempt to evict the demonstrators – the sharp-tongued politician has been undone by a post-election star turn on Tasting and Complaining, a television cookery and chat show.

A famous foodie, the bulky Mr Samak hosted the popular show until recently, whipping up spicy curries and other flaming Thai dishes accompanied by a stream of invective on whatever was on his mind.

[ click to continue reading at FT.com ]

Posted on September 10, 2008 by Editor

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At Last May We Come To Truly Know Our Past

from the New York Times (and Google)

Google to Digitize Newspaper Archives

SAN FRANCISCO — Google has begun scanning microfilm from some newspapers’ historic archives to make them searchable online, first through Google News and eventually on the papers’ own Web sites, the company said Monday.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., will place advertisements alongside search results, and share the revenue from those ads with newspaper publishers.

Google said it was working with more than 100 newspapers and with partners like Heritage Microfilm and ProQuest, which aggregate historical newspaper archives in microfilm. It has already scanned millions of articles.

The National Digital Newspaper Program, a joint program of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, is creating a digital archive of historically significant newspapers published in the United States from 1836 to 1922. It will be freely accessible on the Internet.

[ click to read full article at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on September 10, 2008 by Editor

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Alain Jacquet Gone

from the Long Beach Press-Telegram

Jacquet, 69, was icon of French pop

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK – Alain Jacquet, a French pop artist known for his reinterpretations of famous paintings, has died, the French Embassy said.

Jacquet, who lived in New York and Paris, died of cancer Thursday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the embassy said in a statement. He was 69.

Jacquet’s work often reflected the sensibilities of pop art, which emerged in Britain and the United States in the 1950s and `60s and drew on advertising, comics and other pieces of popular culture.

He also revisited well known artworks from previous eras.

One of his best-known paintings recasts the impressionist giant Edouard Manet’s “Dejeuner sur l’Herbe,” which depicts a female nude picnicking with two fully clothed men. In Jacquet’s version, they are replaced by a gallery owner, an art critic and a painter. He also based works on two other renowned nudes, Manet’s “Olympia” and the neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ “La Source.”

Born Feb. 22, 1939, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, Jacquet had his first exhibition in France in 1961. His work is held by institutions including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of American Art in Washington and the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in France, the embassy said.

click to read at the Press-Telegram ]

Posted on September 9, 2008 by Editor

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Are you going to call Child Services or should I?

Posted on September 9, 2008 by Editor

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Angel Down

from the NY Daily News

Hells Angels leader Mark “Papa” Guardado shot dead in the street in San Francisco

Members of the Hells Angels. The San Francisco branch particularly has a history of clashes with the law.

———

Mark “Papa” Guardado,  leader of the Hells Angels in San Francisco, was shot down on a city street there Tuesday night.

Guardado was found with gunshot wounds about 10:30 pm about a mile from the group’s clubhouse, according to CBS5 TV in San Francisco.

Witnesses told investigators the gang leader and the gunman struggled before the shooting, and that the suspect fled on a motorcycle, according to reports.

Guardado was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and died shortly afterwards.

The biker had been involved in an ongoing fight with a rival from another motorcycle group before he was killed, according to the Associated Press.

The San Francisco Hells Angels could not be reached for comment.

click to read full article at NYDailyNews.com ]

Posted on September 9, 2008 by Editor

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“I can draw the guitar like a motherf≥ckin’ riot…”

Posted on September 8, 2008 by Editor

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¡El Marielito Ha Veulto!

from Variety via Drudge

‘WRESTLER’ TAKES TOP HONORS AT VENICE

Aronofsky film pins down festival’s Golden Lion

VENICE — Darren Aronofksy’s drama “The Wrestler,” starring Mickey Rourke as Randy (the Ram) Robinson, a washed out pro-wrestler in comeback mode — both on and off the screen, it turns out — has pinned down the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion, providing the Lido with a grand finale.

 

“I think the reason people are reacting to this film is that there is a great talent revealing his soul,” said Aronofsky.

“Darren Aronofsky came here a couple of years ago and fell on his ass,” Rourke recounted in the Lido’s packed Sala Grande theatre, referring to the helmer’s “The Fountain,” which premiered in Venice in 2006 and subsequently flopped.

“I am glad he had the balls to come back,” Rourke added.

[ click to continue reading at Variety.com

Posted on September 7, 2008 by Editor

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Step Up On The White Thang and Get Rid Of That Annoying Plastic Hoop

Posted on September 6, 2008 by Editor

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