paper trail

Tributes to Jean-Luc Godard; Leslie Jamison on Choose Your Own Adventure books

Jean-Luc Godard. Photo: Gary Stevens/Wikimedia Commons

In tribute to filmmaker and montage master Jean-Luc Godard, who died yesterday in Switzerland by assisted suicide, Leo Robson has “assembled some of my favourite statements made by and about the director over the past seventy years.” The Paris Review has shared a partial transcript from a 1979 conversation between Godard and the writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras. In a remembrance published online at n+1, Blair McClendon writes: “I never have much to say to giants. It was enough to know that he was out there—smoking a cigar, whining, planning—while I was elsewhere doing those same things, only much worse.”

Alexandra Alter profiles Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer-winning author of the 2017 novel Less, for the New York Times. A sequel, Less Is Lost, will be published by Little, Brown this month. While the decision may be met with skepticism by some (“My agent was like, You can’t write a sequel to a Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, that’s just not seemly.”) Alter notes that Greer now joins “a small cohort” of Pulitzer-winning authors who have written follow-ups, among them Elizabeth Strout, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Jennifer Egan. 

For the New Yorker, Leslie Jamison has written a choose-your-own-adventure-style essay about Edward Packer and R. A. Montgomery’s Choose Your Own Adventure books. Of the kinds of choices the books invite young readers to make, Jamison reflects: “Do you betray the secret of the whales, or protect them? Are you ready to spend your whole life cloistered in the paradise of Shangri-la, or do you crave the freedom of a life beyond its boundaries? Many choices map familiar childhood dilemmas—whether to trust authority figures, whether to share secrets, even whom to sit next to at lunch—onto wacky, outrageous landscapes.”

At Tablet, Blake Smith offers an appreciation of Laura Riding, the revolutionary modernist poet who renounced poetry shortly after the publication of her Collected Poems. She spent the rest of her life “in the obscurity of rural Florida,” devoted only “to citrus farming and the philosophy of language.” During this period, she wrote Rational Meaning: A New Foundation for the Definition of Words with her husband, Schuyler B. Jackson.

hannah baer writes about the Jewish roots of psychoanalysis in the summer issue of Jewish Currents: “Something is perhaps lost when one sees oneself as a clinician rather than a spiritual teacher and healer, or as a patient rather than a member of a devotional community.”