Today in publishing and literature: literary weddings need to start thinking bigger, when HBO wants to make The Corrections in your childhood home, and a horrifying Cthulhu Mythos-themed rug is available now for purchase
Random House has started a “literary wedding board” on Pinterest to show all the bookish flourishes people — actual people — have added to their nuptials. In theory, this sounds kind of great, in small doses. We would enjoy going to an Elmore Leonard or Confederacy of Dunces-themed wedding, but so far, nobody on the board has gone all in on any conceptual idea. There’s a nice shot of a couple walking down the aisle at their local library, a centerpieces made from old editions of Hemingway and Dostoyevsky, and some trendy cupcakes placed artfully atop volumes of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, but nobody’s rushing to recreate the wedding scene from The Godfather on their own big day. Which is unfortunate, because you know one of the groomsmen is going wind up pulling a Sonny (or at least try to) and making the rest of the weekend uncomfortable, literary theme or no. [Pinterest via Book Riot]
What do you say when a representative from HBO says the network is interested in filming the TV adaptation of The Corrections in your parents’ house, because it’s in Mount Vernon, New York and has an attached garage? If you’re University of Chicago writing teacher A-J Aronstein, you tell your mom “YOU HAVE TO TELL THEM THAT YOU WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO FILM THIS SHOW IN OUR HOUSE.” But that was before he started considering his own relationship with Jonathan Franzen’s novel, which he adored because the unhappy Lambert family house “always felt and looked like my parents’ house.” But then he began to feel uneasy about the “potential consequences of seeing what Franzen would do with the scene of my childhood.” As a writer, his fear was that “the depiction of my childhood home on screen, written into the scripted version of a novel I’ve read at least four times, [would] change the way I remembered and wanted to write about my own experiences.” In short, his creative engine would be thoroughly Franzenized. In the end, the network bailed him out when a location scout came to visit the house and deemed it too small. So Aronstein’s youth will remain a Franzen-free zone. [The Millions]
Elmore Leonard is 86-years-old and still churns out a well-received crime novel every 18 months or so, surpassing even George Orwell as the most invaluable supplier of direct, useful advice on the craft of writing. In his review at Elmore’s latest, Raylan, critic Charles Taylor brushes up against an interesting point that the author’s career-long fascination with how men talk could very well be the reason he knows how to communicate his “10 Rules” or shape his haunting and reasonable response to questions about why he still writes. “Leonard started out writing westerns,” explains Taylor, “but the characters who populate his crime stories are talkers, some profane, some funny, some sarcastic, many all at once. But they are talkers.” Despite that, there’s a absence of glibness from Leonard, his characters, or his plots. It adds a realism and weariness to his books, full of casual men being cautious, because they don’t want to get shot. “The violence here has the swift kick of a good, mean joke,” Taylor writes of Raylan. “It makes you wince and grin at the same time.” [BN Review]
Well, this is certainly European and unnerving: EGE Carpets of Denmark is selling a new line of rugs inspired by the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Because Lovecraft’s stories are frightening and feature evil entities like Arwassa, described by Wikipedia as “a humanoid torso with tentacles instead of limbs,” Bugg-Shash, “a black slimy mass covered by eyes and mouths” and Han, “a being made of cold, howling mists,” this is hardly the type of material that seems likely to yield a rug that really ties the room together. And here’s the proof. [Boing Boing]
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