It’s unlikely many literary-watchers are too surprised by Ellis taking a shot at the 82-year-old Munro. In recent years, Ellis has gone out of his way to become the great contrarian. Last year, he went on Twitter to tell his followers that rival author David Foster Wallace was “the most tedious, overrated, tortured, pretentious writer of my generation.”
More recently, Ellis declared the well-received sci-fi thriller Gravity as “totally boring.”
On the flipside, Ellis has publicly stated his belief that the blind early-round auditions of The Voice are “probably the most emotionally stirring and suspenseful episodes on television right now.”
To recap: Bret Easton Ellis believes Munro is unworthy of acclaim, but really admires a reality TV singing competition starring Christina Aguilera?
Let’s consider the source.
by Andrew Ryan (Oct. 11, 2013)
excerpt from “Letters From Iceland”, (1937)
Isn’t it true however far we’ve wandered into our provinces of persecution, where our regrets accuse, we keep returning back to the common faith from which we’ve all dissented, back to the hands, the feet, the faces? Children are always there and take the hands, even when they are most terrified. Those in love cannot make up their minds to go or stay. Artist and doctor return most often. Only the mad will never, never come back. For doctors keep on worrying while away, in case their skill is suffering or deserted. Lovers have lived so long with giants and elves, they want belief again in their own size. And the artist prays ever so gently, let me find pure all that can happen. Only uniqueness is success. For instance let me perceive the images of history. All that I push away with doubt and travel, today’s and yesterdays alike, like bodies.
by: W.H. Auden & Louis MacNeice
From a gold terrace,—amidst silken cords, gray veils, green velvets and crystal discs which darken like bronze in the sun,—I see the foxglove opening on a tapestry of silver threads eyes, and hair.
Pieces of yellow gold sown on the agate, mahogany pillars supporting an emerald dome, bouquets of white satin and delicate stalks of rubies surround the water-rose.
Like a god with large blue eyes and a snow body, the sea and the sky entice to the marble stairs the swarm of young, strong roses.
from undated Illuminations (approx. 1872-4?)
(translation by Wallace Fowlie, 1996)
by Arthur Rimbaud
❝ What is more beautiful than night
and someone in your arms
that’s what we love about art
it seems to prefer us and stays ❞
─────► Frank O’Hara, from “To You”
When music is far enough away
the eyelid does not often move
and objects are still as lavender
without breath or distant rejoinder.
The cloud is then so subtly dragged
away by the silver flying machine
that the thought of it alone echoes
unbelievably; the sound of the motor falls
like a coin toward the ocean’s floor
and the eye does not flicker
as it does when in the loud sun a coin
rises and nicks the near air. Now,
slowly, the heart breathes to music
while the coins lie in wet yellow sand.by Frank O’Hara
[B]eing on my own again, I felt no purity; just confusion in the void. My options once had clear value, which I could discern like a hand telling rough from smooth. Now the signs grew more obscure. It was not enough to read them once. I would consult them again and again to try and decide the best direction, which would lead me down a path to an end I could admire.
Since I could always undo what I had done and travel backward along the wrong road, then head again down the good one, I was always second-guessing myself, always changing my mind. Destiny was like an opaque, demanding, poorly communicative parent, and I was its child, every trying to please it, to figure out what it wanted from me. I tried to read its face for clues to discern what it needed, how it wanted me to behave. In all of this, there was one overarching question that never left my side, an ongoing task that could never be called complete, though I hoped one day it would be: What was the right way to react to people? Who was I to talk to at parties? How was I to be?
But in answer to this, the universe gave me no sure signs. That didn’t prevent me from looking, anyway, or from believing an answer was out there. It was, in a sense, how I spent all my time, for how else could I make the universe love me? If I didn’t know how to be, I would surely lose all its favours, its protection — as if the universe could delight in me for being a certain way.excerpt from: How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
(Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2010)
Act I/Chapter 4/p. 40-1