Did he ever suffer for his art? Was the process really as frictionless as it appeared?
I don’t think he suffered for his art. I think he worked for his art. It depends on how meta you want to get. There was a tragedy about Updike, in some ways, that was also the engine that fueled his work, which is that he lived his life behind a scrim of observation. He was a writer, observing, so whenever he was living he was also observing. And that’s great for the work and not so great for the life. So there are times when he suffers, if you will, from the consciousness that he will never be able to suffer without it being grist for his writerly mill.
A wonderful interview with Adam Begley, the author of Updike, the first biography of the American writer. I can’t wait to read the book and this Awl interview was a nice break from deadlines yesterday. Read it now. And what a great picture!
Hudson River Report: A gorgeous Monday
Nora n Opie
The finance book of the decade is Flash Boys, Michael Lewis’ roundhouse to the high-frequency trading community. One of the pleasures of this book exploding is that Traders covered Brad Katsuyama and his IEX dark pool back in October. October 2013! Score!
Attorney Generals are firing up their probes so HFT is about to be Big Tobacco. By the end of this summer, we may have a toothless Flash Boys Act signed into law before the elections. No one’ll be happy but the lobbying firms funded by the HFT firms will get nice and fat. One lobbying firm bristled when I called them a lobbying firm. But you’re based in DC and you’re run by political operatives from the Obama and Romney campaigns, I said. “We a consumer education firm.”
Flash Boys. Read it to learn about high-speed trading, how firms try to get ahead of everyone else, and enjoy the scenes of Katsuyama building his scrappy team. Who will play him in the HBO movie?
(Source: nprfreshair, via wwnorton)
A recent cover. Wonder how this will fit in with the older issues that recall Mature Mortician Monthly. I hope to put “Added a pulse” on my resume.
Guess what TV show I’m missing.
Season seven of Mad Men starts tonight. Actually, it’s the first half of the final season — Matthew Weiner and AMC are splitting up the season so that the final six or so episodes will run next year. Oh well, this season takes place in 1969 so there will be plenty to think about — riots, Nixon, the moon landing, Woodstock and more. Will Don become a dinosaur or just sleep and drink himself into a privileged void? Will Joan be a curvy relic among the skinny hippie chicks? Will Betty Draper become a feminist or double down on her fading beauty, Philly Mainline breeding and station in life? I think the most interesting characters to watch will be Sally Draper and Roger Sterling. The teenaged girl is entering a turbulent time and Roger looks like he will always have a ball no matter how weird American gets. Maybe he’ll come up with the ‘I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke’ campaign and retire even richer.
Can’t wait to find out.
For an industry that is dying, it’s nice to know that a great magazine cover can still grab attention. Love this one even though John Hancock never signed the US Constitution. To her credit, Julia Louis-Dreyfus released a baby pic of herself on Facebook with the Hancock signature Photohopped on her tiny rear end. Nice grasp of social media, JLD!
And of all the alumnus from Seinfeld, who would have thought that the woman who played Elaine would have the career in the new millennium? After her sitcom Christine collapsed, she looked like she would be reduced to the “When They Were Famous’ bin of pop culture but with Veep and the wonderful Enough Said, we see an actress doing better work in her 50s than when we thought she was in her prime. Season three of Veep. Watch it. After Archer, it’s the funniest show on television.