Today in culture: John Steinbeck’s notebooks, John Waters’ desire for a fashion revolution, and epistolary criticism of TV.
-John Waters thinks today’s youth needs to work on its posture, in every sense of the word: “I used to come home from kindergarten and tell my mom that there was a really weird kid in our class, and he only drew with black crayons. But that kid was me. I was creating my own character, I guess.”
-Mira Nair at Racialicious: “…of course you use everything that excites you in film. But if I have an obsession at all, it is with hands. I love hands and I love lips. I never cast lipless actors. So Kenneth Branagh, no thank you.”
-The second missive of LARB’s “Dear Television” series takes on “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project”: “…while New Girl toys with Manic Pixie Dream Girl expectations, it nonetheless displays Jess as ever evolving. This is adorkability, post-Lucy. Jess couldn’t even utter “penis” in season one, episode four, but by season two, she can relieve the itch in Schmidt’s shower diaper without batting an eyelid.”
-”Readings of Heart of Darkness necessarily consider not just the book itself but previous readings. The result is a kind of critical river. Conrad is also, of course, the source of a creative river—a source which, in turn, has its own origins further upstream, further back in time (as Marlow describes his journey). To what extent does the creative river double as a critical river and mirror?” – Geoff Dyer on Conrad’s novel.
-Read excerpts from John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath work diary: “June 9: …This must be a good book. It simply must…” Sorry, John.
-Song of Roland illustrated by Jason Novak at the Paris Review.