[20.11.05] [Andrew Gallix]
THE MISSING LINKS
Benjamin Kunkel, author of Indecision and founder of n+1 magazine is interviewed in today's Observer: "'When I was at college, I and half the young men I knew wanted to be Don DeLillo,' he says, when I ask which contemporary writers he does read. 'I sent him a copy of the book, hoping he might give me a blurb. I didn't get one, but he sent me a postcard that just said 'Kunkel? Wasn't there a pitcher for the Yankees named Kunkel?' It's displayed prominently in my apartment.'" * Simon Armitage in The Independent on Sunday: "I get quite cross because I think reading is overvalued for young people -- as if Harry Potter is so brilliant because it's a book. I got lots of cultural stimulation from comics, from the TV, from talking to my mates and telling stories. It's not like books are the only thing of importance." * South African author Rachel Zadok, whose Gem Squash Tokoloshe, has been shotlisted for the Whitbread, writes about being a waitress: "Waiters are public relations experts and genius problem solvers. And, sometimes, they manage to throw off their aprons and realise their dreams. So, next time you're in your favourite restaurant, think. The waiter taking your order today might be the one whose opinion counts on Newsnight Review next week, because no waiter is just a waiter. They're always en route to somewhere". * Steve Almond on pro-lifers. * Half Man Half Biscuit reviewed in Spike. * Art Brut interviewed in the Village Voice. * Extracts from the forthcoming Free Expression is No Offence (out in Britain on 1 December). * Hunter S Thompson's explosive memorial to be turned into a movie. * An email informs me that the Festival de Poesia do Circo Voador (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) will be held between 23 and 27 November. More info here. * Bruce Holland Rogers writes in about the subscription service he has set up for his fiction: "For 5 dollars a year, I send my subscribers three short-short stories each month. I have over 600 subscribers in some 60 countries, and running the service has resulted in some individual stories being translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Chinese, Farsi, and Pashto". * William Boyd on Shakespeare's love triangle. * The Germs are back with actor Shane West standing in for the late Darby Crash. X, another legendary LA band, are also going on a reunion tour. Lots more info here. * The Guardian's new online Been There section. * Don Letts interviews Win Butler of the superb Arcade Fire.