In a letter to William Wordsworth, dated 11 December 1806, Charles Lamb described the failure of a play that Lamb had written and noticed that he didn’t rate positive and negative feedback equally:
A hundred hisses—damn the word, I write it like kisses—how different—a hundred hisses outweigh a 1000 Claps. The former come more directly from the Heart.
“Blood in the Sky,” my review of Helen Macdonald’s memoir H Is for Hawk, appears in the 23 April 2015 issue of the New York Review of Books (subscription required).
The spring 2015 issue of the Czech literary journal Revolver Revue prints an interview with me conducted by Veronika Tuckerová, which she has translated into Czech, as well as an excerpt from my novel, which she has also translated. Very happy about this! Tuckerová reviewed the book in an earlier issue of Revolver Revue, and an English translation of her review has been published by the Aspen Institute.
In other news about the novel: the English-language book made an appearance in the 2014 year-end roundup of the film critic Daniel Carlson. An interview with me, translated into Italian, appears on the website Gioia, in the course of which a pretentious reference of mine to “negative capability” is transfigured into a new word, “kidcapability.” And a set of elegant photos of the Italian edition of the book appear on the website Federico Novaro.
Reed College and the University of Portland have invited me to give a talk at the end of March in Portland, Oregon. I’ll be giving the same lecture at both places. The title is going to be “The Disenchantment of Literature in the Age of the Hit Counter,” and here are the details:
Both are free and open to the public. Please come!
My review of Hermione Lee’s biography of Penelope Fitzgerald appears in the January 2015 issue of Harper’s, which should be showing up in subscribers’ snailmailboxes imminently, and appear on newsstands in a week or so. Herewith, a teaser:
Update, 5:30pm: Subscribers can now read the review online.