Thursday, May 17, 2012

Remembering Fuentes, Simic on Writing Poetry & More

Evan Smith Rakoff rounds up news from our homeland, the republic of letters for Poets & Writers:

Famed novelist Carlos Fuentes passed away Tuesday in Mexico City. He was eighty-three; the Guardian looks at the legacy of the great John Updike; a former pharmaceutical executive, Andrew G. Bodnar, convicted of a white-collar crime, was sentenced to write a book; and other news. 

Carlos Fuentes"I deeply lament the death of our beloved and admired Carlos Fuentes, a universal Mexican writer," wrote President Felipe Calderon via Twitter. The famed novelist, who built the foundation for a resurgence of Spanish literature in the 1960s, died Tuesday in Mexico City. He was eighty-three. (New York Times).

In remembrance of Mr. Fuentes, the Los Angeles interview forum Zocalo Public Square has republished a 2007 interview.

Ed note: Juan Gabriel Vásquez's elegant tribute "Listening to Carlos Fuentes with my eyes" that references the Quevedo poem cited below resonates. Like Vásquez I 'met' Fuentes in 1992, taught Aura at Davis, closed my dissertation with a chapter on La región más transparente and have many of his books on my shelves. I too will continue the conversation and listen to him with my eyes.
"Retirado en la paz de estos desiertos,
con pocos pero doctos libros juntos,
vivo en conversacion con los difuntos
y escucho con mis ojos a los muertos." 
"Retreated in the peace of these deserts
With few but learned books together
I live with the deceased in conversation
And with my eyes I listen to the dead.
It's been three years since the passing of John Updike, and the Guardian looks at the legacy of the great writer. Sarah Crown writes, "This is hopelessly subjective, of course, but for me, Updike is THE American novelist of the late 20th century, picking up where Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Steinbeck left off."

LA Times Magazine is shuttering. (FishbowlLA)

Charles Simic explains why he still writes poetry. (New York Review of Books)
A former pharmaceutical executive, Andrew G. Bodnar, convicted of a white-collar crime, instead of jail time, was sentenced to write a book. "This hell is so particular, that no judge's order could ever generalize it," writes Dr. Bodnar. (Wall Street Journal)

Author Daniel Smith wrestles with anxiety. Guernica examines anxiety's power of influence in light of the experiences Smith reveals in his new book, Monkey Mind.

Pairing writers with photographers for a series called Hot Authors, Canteen magazine's mission is to restore authors to their rightful positions as glamorous figures. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Remembering Carlos Fuentes, Charles Simic on Writing Poetry, and More

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