The films of Norman Mailer are like a punch in the face. * “If there’s any theme of my process, it’s generally to go towards what’s uncomfortable.” Miranda July. * “A story is an engagement although it can be protracted. A novel is a campaign.” James Salter. * One morning, after a night of reading Virginia Woolf, Teju Cole woke up partially blind. * Irvine Welsh tears into “highly imperialist-orientated Man Booker prize”. * Paul Auster on life, death & near misses. * Reading decadence. * The vampire figure did not portray Oscar Wilde per se: Rather, it stood for all the fears and fascination Wilde inspired in British society. * Silent footage of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr & others in NY (1959). * Stéphane Mallarmé, the 19th-century French poet, was a lexical innovator, whose stripped-down verse foreshadowed the hermetic sparsities of Samuel Beckett and Wallace Stevens. * When Beckett met Binchy. * “Fiction is the road not taken: the autobiography in reverse.” Carlos Gamerro. * “We’re in a moment where the relative merits of (and the borders between and the nature of) fiction and nonfiction are being questioned.” Ben Lerner. * BBC George Orwell statue turned down as ‘too left-wing’. * P.D. Smith talks City. * China Miéville on the future of the novel. * Iain Sinclair‘s Olympics. * The death of the novel will presage a rebirth of writing, George Szirtes on the ‘instinct to story’. * “The short sentence is artificial.” László Krasznahorkai. * Historian of infamy, WSJ on Danilo Kiš. * Daniel Dennett on Philosophy Bites . * What’s wrong with TED. * “I don’t write for the reader. I’m working for the text, the object coming into existence.” William H. Gass. * James Bridle on why self-publishing is no longer a vanity project. * Martin Scorsese‘s film school, the 85 films you need to see to know anything about film. * Rockville girl speaks. * Out-takes from Jim Jarmusch‘s Down by Law. * David Mitchell mobbed in Shanghai. * Moby Dick as emoticons (via @christianbok). * A partial inventory of Gustave Flaubert’s personal effects (via A Piece of Monologue).