But man, Robert Olen Butler needs some p.r. intervention asap. In case you haven’t been following this story with baited breath (how could one resist? this is some of the craziest shit I’ve seen in a long time), the other day, Robert Olen Butler sent out a pretty insane e-mail to all his grad students “explaining” why his wife was leaving him for Ted Turner.
(I’m using quotes because his “explanation” is that his wife was abused as a child, and “it is very common for a woman to be drawn to men who remind them of their childhood abusers. Ted is such a man, though fortunately, he is far from being abusive.”)
Not one to stop, shut up, and try and save face, yesterday ROB told NPR that he had sent out the letter to because it was
essential that the creative writing students at Florida State University “know” that Dewberry couldn’t take the strain of living under his Pulitzer’s shadow any longer and was playing out her childhood trauma issues with Turner, because otherwise they might think that she was after his money, and Butler still cares too much about his ex-wife to let people think that about her. (Full recap at via GalleyCat)
Because that’s about the doucheist thing he could’ve said, I feel morally obliged to post this so we can all chuckle and shake our heads.
Now back to your regularly scheduled international literature programming . . .
UPDATE: ROB’s back on Gawker with a new message elegantly dissected by Emily. I’m starting to think that all ROB’s care and concern is just a front and that this is just a ploy to get him a little face-time. Does he have a new book coming out? Cause really, five days ago, no one cared about his love life or insane e-mail skills. And to leave with one awesome ROB line: “I admire the wide-ranging good works Ted does to preserve the earth and prevent nuclear war.”
“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .
With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .
In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .
You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .
The narrative history of. . .
Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .
Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means. . .
I must admit upfront that I went into reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories almost entirely blind. I have not read Salman Rushdie. I have read, perhaps, two short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. I might shamefully add that I really. . .