I’ve been away staying in a muddy field for a week or so and I spent most of Monday trying to catch up with what’s been going on. While I was away I had the chance to read, in a real life paper copy of the magazine, John Lanchester’s article on scent in The New Yorker. We discussed scent in literature quite recently here.
Elsewhere 2008 seems to be shaping up to be the year when the rehabilitation of American crime writers into mainstream literary life gathers pace. First of all the National Endowment for the Arts has Dashiell Hammett’s novel The Maltese Falcon on its list of books for the ‘Big Read’, which is the American equivalent to our very own Liverpool Reads. Hammett also featured recently in the city of Tacoma’s City Arts magazine, with a graphic novel-style adaptation of the Flitcraft Parable and an article about Hammett himself by Michael Sean Sullivan. I’ve been doing my bit too.
Meanwhile Chicago is reclaiming Raymond Chandler as one of its own. His 1953 novel The Long Good-Bye–for my money his most ambitious and best–is the chosen book for the city’s own ‘big read’, known as One Book, One Chicago. The Outfit will be blogging about Chandler and The Long Good-Bye from April 14th.
And finally, the Favourite Poems Read by Animals feature plumbs new depths with this reading of Howl by “Allen Finsberg”: