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Short Takes

Where’s Brooklyn? (via After the MFA)

“In an interview she gave to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung after receiving the Nobel Prize, Jelinek said that until then, she had written against great inner resistance (“like constantly having to vomit”) out of a sense of social and political obligation, and that now she would like to experience what it is like to write for pleasure. That might be something for her readers to look forward to as well.”

Somewhat relatedly, a little nod to the international crowd (via LitKicks)

“Debray was catapulted into Castro’s inner circle. He spent weekends in combat training in the Sierra Maestra with other guerilleros, while all-night conversations in the capital focused on history, theory and the relative merits of AK47s over M16s.”

“Trick question: Who wrote Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell?” Hint: It was not Tom Clancey. (via Idiosyncratic Mind)

Joyce Carol Oates considers Roald Dahl. (New Yorkers: Free advance copies available the Tuesday before publication at the NYU bookstore)

“The Life and Death of Mr Badman is by no means one of Bunyan’s best-known books. It tends to be mentioned less often than The Pilgrim’s Progress, Grace Abounding or even The Holy War. But there is no reason to be surprised that Elizabeth Bishop should have read it or dipped into it in the course of her study of seventeenth-century literature.”

Shakespeare became popular due at least in part to simple availability.

“Vonnegut’s main genre, like that of many American writers back to Benjamin Franklin, was the joke.”