paper trail

Jul 12, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

Denis Johnson

Writer Mary Karr says making a book trailer, often a required part of an author's publicity tour of duty, “is, in a word, humiliating.” We've been underwhelmed by most of the quick, awkward videos (John Wray's funny recent trailer for his novel Lowboy, featuring Zach Galifianakis, being an exception) we’ve seen, until now: Behold, the trailer for Gary Shteyngart's forthcoming novel Super Sad True Love Story.

"You are not supposed to point out that Nazi inspirations have visibly taken root among present-day Islamists," writes Paul Berman, as he takes on critics of his polemic The Flight of the Intellectuals.

Novelist Denis Johnson's papers have been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Johnson, a part-time resident of the city, will have his working materials enshrined in the archives that recently acquired David Foster Wallace’s papers, adding to the Center's extraordinarily rich collection. Meanwhile, New Republic editor Ruth Franklin questions the value of author archives, writing: "What’s missing is the alchemy that takes an assortment of random objects and transforms them into a work of art. And that process leaves no trace."