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Elisa Gabbert on Leonora Carrington and madness; Joan Didion gives a matter-of-fact interview

Leonora Carrington

At the Paris Review Daily blog, Elisa Gabbert writes about the internal logic and contradictions of Leonora Carrington’s novel The Hearing Trumpet, and how “the structure of the institution creates the conditions for insanity.” In the novel, a ninety-two-year-old Englishwoman is committed to a bizarre home run by “the Well of Light Brotherhood” where her room features fake furniture: “All fictive furniture is fake, but this novel has real fake furniture and fake fake furniture. Here the novelist seems to be poking holes and peeking through the text.”

This past weekend, friends and colleagues gathered over Zoom to remember Charles R. Saunders, a central figure to the “sword and soul” genre of speculative fiction, who died alone in May. In his work, Saunders recast the worlds of Tarzan and Conan with Black heroes.

Laura Marsh and Alex Pareene, the hosts of the New Republic’s podcast, The Politics of Everything, are looking for guests for their next episode. They’re seeking stories about “being wrong”: “things we got wrong, did not see coming, or misunderstood as they unfolded.”

At Time, Joan Didion gives straightforward answers to questions about her work. Does she ever reread her writing? “Sometimes I do. Sometimes I think something is well done, sometimes I think, Whoops.”

Tonight at 6 PM EST, Politics and Prose Bookstore hosts Mark Leyner to discuss his new book, Last Orgy of the Divine Hermit, with Porochista Khakpour.