july 16–31, 2020

Books

  • Percival Everett, Walk Me to the Distance
  • Enrico Pellegrini, Something Great and Beautiful
  • Amina Cain, Indelicacy
  • Jean Echenoz, 1914, translated by Linda Coverdale
  • Ngaio Marsh, When in Rome
  • Jean Echenoz, The Queen’s Caprice, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Jean Echenoz, Big Blondes, trans. Mark Polizzotti
  • Jean Echenoz, Cherokee, trans. Mark Polizzotti

Films

  • The More the Merrier, directed by George Stevens
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield, dir. Armando Iannucci
  • Billy Madison, dir. Tama Davis
  • Family Romance LLC, dir. Werner Herzog
  • Planet of the Apes, dir. Franklin J. Schaffner

july 1–15, 2020

Books

  • Megha Majumdar, A Burning
  • Georges Simenon, The Strangers in the House, translated by Geoffrey Sainsbury & David Watson
  • Ira Nadel, Cathay: Ezra Pound’s Orient
  • Patrick Modiano, Little Jewel, trans. Penny Hueston
  • Robert Katz, Naked by the Window The Fatal Marriage of Carl Andre and Ana Mendieta

I’m not sure what the current narrative about the death of Ana Mendieta is – it received surprisingly little treatment at a retrospective in Berlin a few summers ago – though it’s interesting that this work, written and published immediately after Carl Andre’s trial, which it exhaustively documents, went out of print. Katz sifted through an immense amount of information and interviews to create this record; in his telling, Andre was guilty. What makes this book most worth seeking out, though, is its description of how the art world, including prominent feminists, almost immediately closed ranks around Andre to protect him. There were clear financial incentives for some who did this; others didn’t want to cause problems or were bound by loyalty. It isn’t clear that anything would have been better if Carl Andre had gone to prison – the justice system comes across as largely buffoonish – but it’s astounding how much can simply be swept under a rug and forgotten.

  • Jean Echenoz, I’m Gone, trans. Mark Polizzoti
  • Georges Simenon, A Crime in Holland, trans. Siân Reynolds
  • Jean Echenoz, Ravel, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Jean Echenoz, Running, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Jean Echenoz, Lightning, trans. Linda Covedale
  • Georges Simenon, The Grand Banks Café, trans. David Coward
  • Paolo Sorrentino, Youth, trans. N. S. Thompson

Films

  • Looking for Mushrooms, directed by Bruce Conner
  • Spaceship Earth, dir. Matt Wolf

june 16–30, 2020

Books

  • Ng Yi-Sheng, Lion City
  • Russell Edson, What a Man Can See
  • Andrea Yew, In These Curved Spaces
  • Georges Simenon, Pietr the Latvian, translated by David Bellos
  • Stephanie Ye, The Billion Shop
  • Georges Simenon, The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Georges Simenon, The Late Monsieur Gallet, trans. Anthea Bell
  • Françoise Gilot & Carlton Lake, Life with Picasso
  • Christopher Brown, Tropic of Kansas
  • Christopher Brown, Rule of Capture
  • Georges Simenon, The Yellow Dog, trans. Linda Asher
  • Ultra Violet (Isabelle Collin Dufresne), Famous for 15 Minutes: My Years with Andy Warhol
  • Georges Simenon, Night at the Crossroads, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • David Kinloch, In Search of Dustie-Fute
  • Giorgio Agamben, What Is Real, trans. Lorenzo Chiesa

Films

  • Robinson Crusoe on Mars, directed by Byron Haskins

june 1–15, 2020

Books

  • Shirley Hazzard, Greene on Capri: A Memoir
  • Percival Everett, The Book of Training by Colonel Hap Thompson of Roanoke, VA, 1843: Annotated from the Library of John C. Calhoun
  • Shirley Hazzard & Francis Steegmuller, The Ancient Shore: Dispatches from Naples
  • Percival Everett, Telephone
  • Leonor Fini, Rogomelec, translated by William Kulik & Serena Shanken Skwersky
  • Percival Everett, God’s Country
  • Akhil Sharma, A Life of Adventure and Delight
  • Percival Everett, Watershed
  • Percival Everett, American Desert
  • Prince, The Beautiful Ones, edited by Dan Piepenbring
  • Patrik Svensson, The Book of Eels, trans. Agnes Broomé
  • Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic
  • Carmina Archilochi: The Fragments of Archilochos, trans. Guy Davenport
  • Percival Everett, Wounded
  • Augusto Monterroso, The Black Sheep and Other Fables, trans. Walter I. Bradbury

Films

  • Miracolo a Milano (Miracle in Milan), directed by Vittorio de Sica
  • Sähkö the Movie, dir. Jimi Tenor

may 16–31, 2020

Books

  • Samanta Schweblin, Little Eyes, translated by Megan McDowell
  • Michael Dibdin, And Then You Die
  • Michael Dibdin, Medusa
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
  • Michael Dibdin, Back to Bologna
  • Michael Dibdin, End Games
  • Percival Everett, Cutting Lisa
  • Percival Everett, Suder
  • Beatrice Wood, I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II, No Happy Ending, trans. William I. Neuman
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Return to the Same City, trans. Laura Dail
  • Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö, Roseanna, trans. Lois Roth
  • Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö, The Man Who Went up in Smoke, trans. Joan Tate
  • Saul Steinberg & Aldo Buzzi, Reflections and Shadows, trans. John Shepley

Films

  • What’s Up, Doc?, directed by Peter Bogdanovich
  • Best in Show, dir. Christopher Guest
  • Первые на Луне (First on the Moon), dir. Aleksei Fedorchenko

reluctance to draw from life

“Why am I so reluctant to draw from life, and why do I look for any excuse not to? It’s hard to tell the truth about anything, or to portray oneself in terms of something else. What I try to do is to say with painting something more than what the eye sees. My paintings are not so much paintings in themselves as parts of a table, objects of a drawing able, the painter’s work table. The pencils and other things I do are there to say that this is not a painting of mine but a painting by someone else, maybe a painting by ‘that painter’ but not by me. In that case, I’m more an orchestra conductor than a painter doing a painting. My work says something about something else, if it’s painting it says something about painting, not about the fact that this is what it is. If I use a rubber stamp on the painting, I do it to show that this paint is not real paint, it’s a symbol of the thing painted, just as the stamp is a symbol of the man. I’m not sure whether this is a sign of modesty or the reverse.”

(Saul Steinberg & Aldo Buzzi, Reflections and Shadows, trans. John Shepley, p. 71.)

may 1–15, 2020

Books

  • Manuel Puig, The Buenos Aires Affair, translated by Suzanne Jill Levine
  • Shirley Hazzard, The Evening of the Holiday
  • Jean Cocteau, My Contemporaries, trans. Margaret Crosland
  • Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood
  • Chester Himes, The Crazy Kill
  • Chester Himes, Plan B
  • Chester Himes, Pinktoes
  • Christine Chia, The Law of Second Marriages
  • Christine Chia, Separation: A History
  • Michael Dibdin, A Long Finish
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II, An Easy Thing, trans. Willie Neuman
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Some Clouds, trans. Willie Neuman
  • Michael Dibdin, Blood Rain

Films

  • Dial M for Murder, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Robinson Crusoe, dir. Luis Buñuel

april 16–31, 2020

Books

  • Primo Levi, The Wrench, translated by William Weaver
  • Michael Dibdin, Dead Lagoon
  • Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One
  • Primo Levi, Moments of Reprieve, trans. Ruth Feldman
  • Michael Dibdin, Così fan tutti
  • Eimear McBride, Strange Hotel
  • Gianrico Carofiglio, Involuntary Witness, trans. Patrick Creagh
  • Sabrina Orah Mark, Wild Milk
  • Don Mee Choi, DMZ Colony
  • Cyril Wong, Satori Blues
  • S. C. Gordon, Harbouring
  • Anthony Burgess, Beard’s Roman Women
  • Hafiz Hamzah, Blooms of Ire, trans. Ede A. Hamid
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Evelyn Waugh, The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold
  • Gianrico Carofiglio, A Walk in the Dark, trans. Howard Curtis
  • Maurice Sachs, Witches’ Sabbath, trans. Richard Howard
  • Evelyn Waugh, Love Among the Ruins
  • V. S. Naipaul, The Mystic Masseur
  • Richard Kennedy, A Boy at the Hogarth Press
  • Valerio Varesi, River of Shadows, trans. Joseph Farrell

Films

  • True Grit, directed by Henry Hathaway
  • The Ladykillers, dir. Alexander McKendrick
  • Jane, dir. Brett Morgen
  • The Kid Brother, dir. Ted Wilde
  • Portrait of Jennie, dir. William Dieterle
  • Joe Versus the Volcano, dir. John Patrick Shanley
  • Death on the Nile, dir. John Guillermin
  • Evil under the Sun, dir. Guy Hamilton
  • Appointment with Death, dir. Michael Winner

april 1–15, 2020

Books

  • Michael Dibdin, Cabal
  • Emmanuel Carrère, 97, 196 Words, translated by John Lambert
  • Boileau-Narcejac, Vertigo, trans. Geoffrey Sainsbury
  • Boileau-Narcejac, She Who Was No More, trans. Geoffrey Sainsbury
  • Piero Chiara, The Bishop’s Bedroom, trans. Jill Foulston
  • Patrick Modiano, Young Once, trans. Damion Searls
  • Jean-Philippe Blondel, The 6:41 to Paris, trans. Alison Anderson
  • Boileau-Narcejac, Choice Cuts, trans. Brian Rawson
  • Leonardo Sciascia, Salt in the Wound, trans. Judith Green
  • J. G. Ballard, Vermilion Sands
  • John Crowley, Totalitopia
  • Elio Viottorini, In Sicily, trans. Wilfrid David
  • Cordwainer Smith, Nostrilia
  • Leonardo Sciascia, The Death of the Inquisitor, trans. Judith Green
  • Alberto Savinio, Childhood of Nivasio Dolcemare, trans. Richard Pevear
  • Samuel R. Delany, The Atheist in the Attic

Films

  • Vertigo, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • The Bank Dick, dir. Edward F. Cline & Ralph Ceder
  • Sons of the Desert, dir. William A. Seiter
  • The Green Fog, dir. Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson
  • Murder on the Orient Express, dir. Sidney Lumet
  • Rasing Arizona, dir. Joel Coen
  • Way Out West, dir. James W. Horne

before printing

“Before Printing, Old-wives Tales were ingeniose, and since Printing came in fashion, till a little before he Civill-warres, the ordinary sort of People were not taught to reade. Now-a-dayes Bookes are common, and most of the poor people understand letters; and the may good Bookes, and variety of Turnes of Affaires, have putt all the old Fables out of doors: and the divine art of Printing and Gunpowder have frighted away Robin-good-fellowe and the Fayries.”

(quoted in Oliver Lawson Dick’s “The Life and Times of John Aubrey,” p. xliii in the Vintage Aubrey’s Brief Lives; this is cited elsewhere as being from B. L. Lansdowne Ms. 231, fol. 140r.)