Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Cynthia Hopkins Songbook

(Catch-up post, three of five.)

Summarizing the news in the most recent Gloria Deluxe mailing list announcement (which you may already receive in your inbox?); some amazing stuff:

1) A clip from the new show on YouTube.

2) This coming Saturday (the birthday of Matthew Broderick and Bridget Jones): a work-in-progress showing of the new show at MASS MoCA.

3) Next Friday: “The Cynthia Hopkins Songbook” at Joe’s Pub. Would you look at the list of special guests? I mean, we’re talking about a MacArthur recipient and Pulitzer winner singing Cynthia Hopkins. The living, breathing embodiment of the personal computer, the personal computer in human form, singing Cynthia Hopkins. New Yorkers: this is not to be missed.

4) April: the world premiere of the new show at the Walker.

5) May: the New York premiere of the new show. This, too, is not to be missed, of course; but you have many more opportunities not to miss it.

“‘Pandora in the Congo’ by Albert Sánchez Piñol”

(Catch-up post, two of five.)

My review of Pandora in the Congo, Albert Sánchez Piñol’s second novel (Canongate, 3 March 2009), is in the Apr./May issue of Bookforum (print and Web).

You might ask: Is the translator, Mara Faye Lethem, Jonathan’s sister? Google replies: yes. Can we trust Google in this instance? It seems reasonable. Does it seem interesting and intriguing to start life in Boerum Hill and end up being able to translate a novel from the original Catalan? I think so.

A few lines from the cutting-room floor:

“(the minor-yet-pivotal character Roger Casement, British consul to the Belgian-controlled Congo Free State, was a real person)”

“it’s tempting to guess at what might be this novel’s American equivalent: an Edwardian thriller set in Barcelona starring the Catalonian equivalents of, say, W.E.B. Dubois, Brad Pitt, and Mike Huckabee?”

“‘Oh I see! […] Actually, it never struck me before. Smoke … Too … Much!‘”

“‘Salmonella Men on Planet Porno’ by Yasutaka Tsutsui”

(Catch-up post, one of five.)

A review I wrote of Yasutaka Tsutsui’s Salmonella Men on Planet Porno ran in the Los Angeles Times back in December.

The line in the review that I was most happy about: “Phyllis Schlafly in Calvino drag.”

A more praise-filled review of a far more praiseworthy book: Emily writing about Marilynne Robinson’s Home in the Los Angeles Times last September.