Science fiction writer, essayist, and Macarthur "genius" Jonathan Lethem (previously) has excellent bona fides to write about Edward Snowden: not only has he helped make a short film about the Snowden leaks, he's also spent years on the right side of the fights over surveillance and free expression (and it doesn't hurt that he's an outstanding essayist).
As part of HiloBrow's Movie Objects series of essays, Jonathan Lethem writes about Burt Lancaster's hammer in the 1958 movie adaptation of George R. Stewart's almost last-man-on-earth novel, Earth Abides.
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Earth Abides surrounds a feral-looking Burt Lancaster, fresh off the set of John Huston's The Unforgiven, with a cast of New York stage actors and unknowns, among them a young Gena Rowlands and the unforgettably eccentric character actor Timothy Carey.
The MacArthur Foundation has announced its 2018 Fellows (AKA the "MacArthur Genius Prize winners"), a list of 25 remarkable people from all disciplines, including the incomparable Kelly Link (previously), who joins other science fiction writers who won the prize, including Octavia Butler and Jonathan Lethem. — Read the rest
Since its inception in 1988, David Byrne's Luaka Bop label has been a sure-fire source of some of the best music I've ever heard, from its compilations of Brazilian and Cuban music to bands like Cornershop, Os Mutantes, and Tom Ze. — Read the rest
A Gambler's Anatomy is the latest novel from Copyfighting certified genius Jonathan Lethem (previously) — a book about an international backgammon hustler who believes he is psychic — and who sports a huge tumor growing from his face.
On April 29-30 at Cal State Fullerton, fans, scholars, authors, and artists will celebrate surrealist science fiction author Philip K. Dick with an extravaganza of talks, panels, and exhibits! Special guests include Dr. Ursula Heise, Jonathan Lethem, Tim Powers, and James Blaylock. — Read the rest
776 pages commemorating a quarter-century of Canada's outstanding, astounding indie comics press, including essays by Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Lethem and Lemony Snicket, and featuring seminal stories from Jillian Tamaki, Chris Ware, Adrian Tomine, and Art Spiegelman.
Defender, to the death, of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga. Architect of Philip K. Dick’s induction into the Library of America. College drop-out. MacArthur Genius. Comic-book guy. Jonathan Lethem is a man of obscure obsessions and unabashed passions.
It's hard to imagine what contemporary culture would be like without the existence of the comic, graphic novel, and low-brow art publishers Last Gasp, Fantagraphics, and Canada's small press darling, Drawn & Quarterly. In Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years, D&Q are given their due. — Read the rest
The major US writers' group, the Authors Guild, claims to represent all writers when it sues over library book-scanning and other fair uses; a new group, the Authors Alliance, has been launched by leading copyright expert Pam Samuelson to represent the authors who like fair use, users' rights, and who reject censorship and surveillance. — Read the rest
It's that time of year again! Welcome to Boing Boing's 2015 Gift Guide, where you'll find toys, books, gadgets and many other splendid ideas to humor and harry your friends and family! Scroll down and buy things, mutants!
A group of writers from around the world, including Nobel laureates, have signed onto a petition calling on the world's governments to limit online surveillance. I was honored to be asked to be among the initial signatories, in good company with the likes of Margaret Atwood, Don DeLillo, Martin Amis, Günter Grass, Pico Ayer, Will Self, Irvine Welsh, Jeanette Winterson, Lionel Shriver, Paul Auster, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Lethem, and many, many others. — Read the rest
Rick Kleffel just posted his interview with Jonathan Lethem (MP3) about Lethem's new novel, Dissident Gardens, his latest New York City novel. It's about a Sunnyside Gardens family whose matriarch, Rose Zimmer, is being drummed out of the Communist Party. — Read the rest
The Philip K. Dick Festival, scheduled for September 22-23 in San Francisco, is sure to be a heady, reality-bending time. Organizer and Total Dick-Head blogger David Gill informs us that he's lined up presentations by Jonathan Lethem, Erik Davis, Paul Sammon, and many other big thinkers on such subjects as self-induced amnesia, computer simulations, mysticism, dystopia, and, of course, drugs. — Read the rest
Total Dick-Head's David Gill reminds us that 30 years ago today, science fiction author Philip K. Dick "disconnected." Public Radio International's "To The Best Of Our Knowledge" has posted a great selection of interviews about the man whose entire life and work questioned the nature of reality. — Read the rest
Jonathan Lethem's latest is a book in the 33 1/3 series, Talking Heads' Fear of Music, a tribute to Talking Heads brilliant, seminal album, one of the greatest records of all time. In Wired, Geeta Dayal interviews Lethem about his book and the approach he took, and leaves me drooling for the chance to read it myself:
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Lethem chose not to take a journalistic approach with Fear of Music; there are no interviews with the band members, Eno or anyone else involved in the album's creation.
Rick Kleffel and the Agony Column have a long podcast interview with Jonathan Lethem commemorating the publication of his new essay collection, The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc., a discussion about how art builds on other art and how writing is done:
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An interview about 'The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc.'
In this interview with the literary journal AGNI, MacArthur-prize-winning author Jonathan Lethem discusses originality and the way that "influence" and copying from other writers are part of the creative process. Lethem's previous essay on this, The ecstasy of influence: A plagiarism, is a masterwork (I'm also a big fan of his novels, e.g. — Read the rest
I love film and dig dates to the art house but I'm woefully lacking in my knowledge of classic and "important" cinema. Of course, a terrific curriculum in film history can be found in the Criterion Collection. My recent faves include the essential creep-outs of Peeping Tom (1960) and Carnival of Souls (1962). — Read the rest