“FEW SOCIAL PRACTICES now seem more antiquated than the formal duel by swords or pistols. The so-called ‘judicial duel’ became widely practiced in Europe in the early Middle Ages, influenced by Homeric and other Classical accounts of single combat, and survived more or less intact for centuries. Over the same span, duels appeared endlessly in stories, paintings, poems, and novels. Duels seem ‘particularly hospitable to literature,’ John Leigh proposes in his lucid and thorough new study, because they are ‘self-contained dramas'; ‘the most deliberate, self-conscious of acts,’ the ‘ritualized combat’ of a duel stipulates a consistent pattern of word and deed.”
Congratulations to our friend, colleague, contributor and now, US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
Read his most recent poems for the Los Angeles Review of Books here:
Wouldn’t it be of great interest and value if we could watch filmed interviews with our favorite authors from previous eras? Who would you want to see? Tolstoy? Melville? Proust? Dickens? Jane Austen? Henry James? Anaïs Nin? Emily Dickinson? F. Scott Fitzgerald or Nathanael West? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a library of filmed author interviews and short documentaries on literary and cultural subjects, including the rich literary history of LA? That is exactly what the Los Angeles Review of Books has set out to do in launching the LARB Audiovisual Library.
To date, LARB has filmed and posted some 125 professionally edited author interviews, including such luminaries as Margaret Atwood, Judith Butler,T.C. Boyle, David Shields, and Leo Braudy, along with mini-documentaries such as “Living History: The John Feathers Map Collection.” To view these and other projects from our audiovisual division, LARB AV, please click here. We have set for ourselves a goal of building a library of 500-1,000 interviews and short films by the year 2020. This means we will need to do at least 100-200 filmed interviews per year, at a cost of $50,000+ per year. The result will be a library that benefits not only LARB readers but also students, teachers, academics, librarians, and cultural historians worldwide.
LARB was conceived as a digital online magazine dedicated to playing a prominent role in the literary community by connecting with the people, books, and ideas that enliven and explain our world. Today it is that and more. Since launching our full website in 2012, LARB has a print publication program, including the LARB Quarterly Journal and the Los Angeles Review of Books: The Magazine; we hold and participate in various kinds of events, including our LARB Luminary Dinners and Tom’s Book Club; we have a weekly radio show on KPFK called the LARB Radio Hour; we produce podcasts and short films; we serve as the home base for an array of independent literary and cultural websites that operate as LARB Channels; and much more. The LARB Audiovisual Library is an important component of our multidimensional program.
As a nonprofit, LARB is funded by your donations. It is not only tiresome to you, our friends and readers, to be solicited for donations throughout the year, it is tiresome and difficult for us. But we have no choice. LARB is independent, provocative, timely, and free of charge. We publish digitally, in print, and in audiovisual forms the best thinking and writing about books and culture today. In 2014 we published some 1,500 reviews, essays, podcasts, and short films! Fundraising is what makes this possible. Our members make this possible. Giving to our cause – whether through a single donation or by signing up to be a member – matters.
We are asking you today to please show your support for LARB in general and the LARB Audiovisual Library project in particular. Please donate as generously as you can, whether that be $5 or $5,000, by clicking here or by sending a check made payable to the Los Angeles Review of Books to Los Angeles Review of Books, 1614 S. Central Ave., Glendale, CA 91204.
We are making literary and cultural history. Please take this exciting journey with us. On behalf of the LARB staff and board, we thank you for your involvement and generous support.
Chairman of the Board
Los Angeles Review of Books
Hello friends of LARB,
I’m writing you from Iowa City, which, primarily because of the legendary Writers Workshop and its International Writing Program, was named a UNESCO “City of Literature” – a distinction it shares with seven other cities, including Dublin and Prague, for instance. (It’s the only city in the US with the distinction, but it seems to me Los Angeles should be on that list…)
I’m here for the Mission Creek Festival, a music and arts festival with a lot of literary activity – Lorrie Moore read last night; Eula Biss, Kiese Laymon, Ander Monson, Luis Alberto Urrea, and others are taking part. I’m reading from a new travel book I’ve just finished, and sitting on a panel on publishing “in a digital landscape.”
I’ve sat on a number of panels like this over the last several years, and what always comes up, not surprisingly, is the question of the basic economic problem of the web: how do you pay for quality content when the old methods of doing so – advertising and subscriptions – no longer work. Our answer at the Los Angeles Review of Books has been to appeal directly to our readers; thousands of you have responded over the years and pitched in. We thank you, and literary culture thanks you.
We also continue to write grants and go after advertising dollars and corporate sponsors, and we continue to rely on an enormous amount of volunteer labor. But until “the digital landscape” changes, we will continue to need you to donate, as you have done so far, to keep us growing and thriving. We are launching our spring fund drive today, and hope you will once again help us do our part to build not just a city of literature, but the world of literature.
With very best wishes,
for Phil Levine, RIP
Born in Nimes, France in 1936, Claude Viallat last exhibited in New York in 2002 at Cheim Read Gallery. He attended the Ecole de Beaux Arts de Paris (1962-3). His first solo show was in 1966. By the beginning of the 70s, he became one of the leaders of the group “Support-Surface.” He founded the group with fellow artists such as Bioulès, Cane, and Dezeuze after a period of intense experimentation in the south of France, where he installed his works in various non-institutional spaces such as farms, a beach, the bed of a river, etc. In a context of radical questioning social norms and values, this group of artists attempted to break up the convention of painting by deconstructing the concept of the stretcher (support) and canvas (surfaces). The group had its first show at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1971.
Claude Viallat is known for his emblematic “shape” which evokes both a net or a flat knot. Applied with a brush and a stencil, this shape acts as a signature of his works, which are never signed. By repeating this shape on a variety of surfaces, the artist frees himself of the limits of composition to focus on the combination of colors and its optical effects.
Claude Viallat is in numerous museum collections including Musée National d’Art Moderne, Fondation Cartier, CAPC Bordeaux, Museum of Modern Art, The Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montreal.
The LARB Quarterly Journal is a testament to the fact that print is still thriving as readers continue to have a profound appetite for curated, edited, smart and fun opinion, written by the best writers and thinkers of our time.
We’ve carefully selected these articles, poems, interviews and essays—all written exclusively for this publication—for readers of just about any interest. The new issue of the LARB Quarterly Journal includes:
- Feature essays by Sven Birkerts, Carmen Petaccio, M.P. Ritzger, Sarah Tomlinson, CA Conrad, Ananya Vajpeyi, and Kim Barnes.
- Original poetry by Ada Limón, Bruce Bond, francine j. harris, and Jenny Johnson.
- Short-takes written by Amy Gerstler, Marjorie Sandor, Peter Trachtenberg, Rachel Pastan, Benjamin Weissman, Gabriel Mason, and Susanne Berne.
- Including an Artist Portfolio and profile of Emily Mast.
HOW TO PURCHASE
PURCHASE THEPREVIOUS ISSUE
“No Crisis” is a Los Angeles Review of Books special series considering the state of critical thinking and writing — literary interpretation, art history, and cultural studies — in the 21st century. A new installment to the series will be released at the beginning of each month through the fall of 2015. Our aim, as our introductory essay explains, is to “show that the art of criticism is flourishing, rich with intellectual power and sustaining beauty, in hard times.”
The editors of “No Crisis” are Caleb Smith, Sarah Mesle, and Merve Emre. Comments, questions, and responses can be sent to email@example.com.
Author John Green called it his “favorite essay on The Fault in Our Stars yet.”
2. We Need To Talk About Tyrion: How HBO Failed George R. R. Martin’s Iconic Character by Ilana Teitelbaum, November 21st, 2014
“What is most remarkable about this moment in the TV series is that the show gets it wrong.”
Ron Rosenbaum’s characteristically brilliant response to all the important updates that have occurred in Hitler studies in the past 15 years.
Texts from Jane Eyre is not only a major work of bathroom humor reading, but also a significant contribution to feminist literary criticism.
Scarlett Johansson in Her (Spike Jonze, 2013), Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013), and Lucy (Luc Besson, 2014). Continue reading
The following are selections from a photo essay by Allison Shelley titled “Haiti: Then and Now,” documenting Shelley’s time both covering Haiti on location in 2010, and then just recently, 2015 during her trip back there. The photo gallery includes 32 photographs presented in pairs: one from 2010, another from 2015, typically of the same scene or subject. The full photo essay, along with an essay by Allyn Gaestel titled “Still Fissured: Haiti’s Health System, Five Years After the Earthquake,” is located on our main site.
A water tank in a tent camp behind the Notre Dame de l’Assomption Catholic church sports a message from its inhabitants, in Port au Prince, Haiti, Friday, February 26, 2010. ©Allison Shelley
Five years after the quake, a tent camp behind the Notre Dame de l’Assomption Catholic church still houses the displaced, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 4, 2015. ©Allison Shelley Continue reading