December 2, 2017
Saturday is coming to town
by Melville House
Friends! Readers! Humans! Persons! After what we can surely all agree was one hell of a week, here we are again; if you made it through all seven days without pleading guilty to felony charges of lying to the FBI, this bud’s for you. Welcome to Saturday. It’s going to rule. It rules already.
Here at Melville House, we’re pleased to say that literally none of us—not a single staffer—has pled guilty to felony charges of lying to the FBI this week. We have, however, been keeping pretty busy:
- Taylor Sperry covered the hurt feewings of The Mooch, who spent eleven days this summer shaking the world as Donald Tr*mp’s communications director, and is now feuding with the school newspaper at his alma mater. Cool, Moochie, you do you.
- Peter Clark observed the steps Amazon is taking to destroy Goodreads, the long-excellent social platform it acquired four years ago.
- Stephanie DeLuca noted that the White House has made a Christmas tree out of a series of books that… do not seem to reflect careful thought. Folks were talking about it all the way in London.
- Ian Dreiblatt wrote about George Plimpton’s gloriously sordid and/or sordidly glorious past shilling for long-forgotten video game systems.
- Nikki Griffiths poured herself some Famous Grouse and got serious about Amazon’s appalling unwillingness to pay workers in Scotland a living wage.
- Ryan Harrington took, um, a deep breath and laid out some gift ideas for the mischievous-mistletoe enthusiasts on your holiday list. Horror Queso to all, and to all a good Ham!
- Alex Primiani told us about bestselling debut novelist Emma Cline’s countersuit against an ex-boyfriend who’s suing her, alleging that she plagiarized elements of her massive hit The Girls from… his emails? Using… spyware?
- Simon Reichley shared the magic of Varna, Bulgaria, from its ruined apodyteria and efficient buses to the newest jewel in its crown: a massive wooden library in the shape of a whelk.
- Susan Rella has not been heard from in some time. If you see her, please give a shout.
We were also delighted to publish:
- Marion Rankine, author of Brolliology, addressing the question on many a mind: “Why umbrellas?” (“Of course, there’s no matching a writer for sheer joyful imagination: we are yet to see real-world manifestations of the magic-wand umbrellas, flying umbrellas, and umbrellas-as-boats we find in books.”)
- Mike Lankford, author of Becoming Leonardo, on the mighty truths concealed within… the master’s feet. (“If you take all these bits and pieces that get repeated in Leonardo’s drawings and paintings, the thrusting lower lip and jaw, the glaring look, the pensive brow, the hands especially, but also the feet, do they not suggest fragmented bits of the self, scattered in plain sight?”)
- An urgent message from the Personality Movement. (Essentially: Get confident, stupid!)
As ever, there was some news we just didn’t get to:
- Playwright Israel Horovitz has left the Gloucester Stage Company in disgrace after being accused of sexual misconduct—including rape—by a number of women. The closest thing to good news here is that Horovitz’s son—the magnificent Ad-Rock—has done the menschy thing here, saying on the record. “I believe the allegations against my father are true, and I stand behind the women that made them.” Which is about as dope as the situation allows.
- Despite being (unconfirmedly) outed by a reporter last year, beloved and psuedonymous Italian novelist Elena Ferrante is working on another novel, her publishers have said. Che figata!
- The UK’s Daily Mail has suffered a sudden and precipitous plunge in value, on news that will likely not meet next year’s projections and anticipates a substantial decline in print advertising budgets.
- The Penguin Hotline is back! The Penguin Hotline is back! Call your favorite penguins up and tell them the Penguin Hotline is back!
- Barnes and Noble’s much-vaunted recent pivot does not appear to be working. Our co-fearless co-leader has some highly worthwhile thoughts on the subject, which you are urgently encourged to read.
And finally: It is Saturday morning, a time not for mere and horrible mortals, but verily for cartoooons! We’ve got a beaut for you today —- the sweet and bizarre stylings of 1952’s The Little House:
Have fun, stay safe, avoid saying anything to the FBI that will necessitate pleading guilty to a felony, and we’ll see you right back here on Monday.