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.”
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .
The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .