“Most people think of themselves, in a sense, as realists,” Galchen said, “even if they have speaking dogs in the book.” Julavits reiterated the point that authors themselves often misjudge how their work will be read. “Someone once told me they were talking to Diane Williams and she was just really surprised that people didn’t think of her in the same breath as Jane Austen,” Julavits said. “I sort of loved that as a really sweet misapprehension of what you think you’re doing versus how other people perceive what you’re doing.”(4)
Curiously (and enticingly), however, when both players stopped referencing the album in any direct way, they seemed capable of greater invention. Playing what they called a series of “solos”—which the pair described from the stage as “those things where you play solo, and then I join you at the end”—they reached for a language beyond the one they’ve already set down on the album.
The rave Pitchfork review was for a 12-C.D. retrospective of Oliveros' electronic and tape works from 1961-1970, on the (correctly named) Important Records imprint, with their “best new reissue” garland. “I read that review and I was really pleased with it!” Oliveros said. “I thought [the writer] just did a beautiful job.… Because there were very few of my '60s electronic pieces that had been out, in recordings. Most of my material on this 12-C.D. set has been sitting on the shelf all that time.” This weekend, Oliveros and her Deep Listening Band will come to the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, as part of this year’s 12-hour Bang On A Can Marathon. Oliveros says they’ll be playing three pieces during their set, which is scheduled to start in the 4 p.m. hour of the Sunday festival.
Terry Riley on giving up self-publishing and his new concerto for electric violin, being performed this weekend
In this way, you might think of Riley as a blue-chip modern-art stock. But once a listener moves beyond Riley’s sixties-era work, and the enduring pop-culture legacy it has earned him, the composer’s efforts can seem surprisingly ignored. Though his chamber music champions are notable, they have not been large in number (if not for the Kronos Quartet’s commissioning and performance activity, Riley’s latter-day catalogue might not amount to much), while his symphonic works are largely absent from the modern repertoire. This counter-intuitive, outsider aspect of Riley’s persona is what makes this Saturday’s concert at Carnegie Hall such a must-see event.
Sound, T.M. Wolf’s debut novel, out this week from Faber & Faber, takes a formally inventive approach to evoking those spaces and stutters and ums and ers and likes that form the rhythms of everyday conversation. He sets the dialogue on the page as though it's musical notation. It’s a bold choice on Wolf’s part, and one that fits in neatly with his overall style, a densely written prose that creates an immersive sense of place. In the midst of all of this is a comparably conventional plot—a mid-twenties coming-of-age narrative laced with some traces of low-level criminal activity at the margins—but the stylistic risks that Wolf takes and his ability to create a vibrant sense of place more than compensate for the moments where the novel's central action feels mundane.
Mary Gaitskill, Tao Lin, and others engage in a night of queer and experimental fiction in support of Radar Lab writer's retreat
The Strand’s rare-book room, located on the bookstore’s third floor, houses a $45,000 copy of Ulysses, complete with illustrations by Matisse, and signed by both the artist and the author. It’s the most expensive book in the room, and on Saturday night, Michelle Tea kicked off the first New York City benefit for RADAR Lab, a free, “queer-centric” retreat for writers and artists which has been held for the past three summers in Akumal, Mexico, by asking the forty or so audience members in attendance not to steal it.