Friday diversions

Friday, May 13, 2011

On his website today, Bob Dylan clears up some invented controversy about his trip to China. In his usual incisive plain-speak, he adds:

Everybody knows by now that there's a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I'm encouraging anybody who's ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them.

Watch this three-minute video by Bud Rodecker, featuring his poster art from his “Ode to Carl” series and a voiceover reading “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg.

Granta releases Issue #115: The F Word next week. This issue “explores the ways in which feminism continues to inform, address and complicate” the balance of power between men and women. Authors include Edwidge Danticat, Louise Erdrich, and Francine Prose. Pieces by Sharon Olds and Urvashi Butalia are available online.

The new Los Angeles Review of Books has launched a temporary website. In his essay this week, Mark McGurl discusses “The MFA Octopus: Four Questions about Creative Writing.” On criticisms of elitism in the MFA program, he opines:

If ultimately I prefer its thriving to its demise, it’s not because I can’t see the credentialing game it has become, or the financial exploitation of the American dream of perfect self-expression that it sometimes enacts, or even the occasional mediocrity of its literary products . . . . That will have to do until after the revolution, when creative writing classes will be held on every playground and in every pub, everyone will have time to attend them, and the tuition will only be 95 cents.

See you at the pub, then.