Reading the comments, Romantic-era edition

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.

A talk in Portland

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!

A review, two interviews, an essay, and a meme

Lauren Christensen, writing for Vanity Fair’s VF Daily, has noticed parallels between Necessary Errors and Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, and argues that the center of both books is in “the psychological events of each well-crafted character.”

In Actuary Lit, I am interviewed by Evan Bryson, who has read a lot of my old writing and is correspondingly dangerous. He asked about the differences between the novella “Sweet Grafton” and the novel Necessary Errors, and we talked about Spark, Isherwood, Sontag, Hollinghurst, and Fitzgerald.

For the Paris Review Daily, Anna Altman has asked me about D. W. Winnicott, L. P. Hartley, and the function of the precinct in TV shows.

I’ve written a guest essay for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program about whether the critical half of one’s brain is at risk of eating the creative half.

And my novel’s place in literary history is secure now that Maris Kreizman has mash-upped it into a meme for her site Slaughterhouse 90210.

“Necessary Errors” goes on sale

My novel Necessary Errors goes on sale today. Norman Rush has called it “very well put together, polished, dry but tender, ferociously observed,” and Christine Pivovar has written that “Reading the novel feels like meeting up with friends.”

Please visit your local bookstore and consider buying a copy, or consider ordering one online from McNally Jackson, Barnes & Noble, or another retailer (more links in the right sidebar and here!).

And if you’re in Brooklyn, please come to Brooklyn’s Book Court tomorrow, Wednesday, at 7pm for the launch, featuring a reading by me and special guest stars Christine Smallwood, Seth Colter Walls, Mark Krotov, and Alice Gregory.