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February 21, 2010

Shorties (Don DeLillo, Joanna Newsom, and more)

Don DeLillo talks to the Times Online about his new novel, Point Omega.

The Observer reviews the new Joanna Newsom album, Have One on Me (out this Tuesday).

The headline news, though, is that Newsom has finally conquered that most wayward bit of equipment – her voice. The witch-child who squawked The Milk-Eyed Mender songs has been sent up to bed. Now Newsom can lilt and croon at will, two hours in her company flies by.

The Boston Globe makes a "literary pilgrimage" to the home of Flannery O'Connor, Milledgeville, Georgia.

The Independent offers an A-Z primer for Alice in Wonderland.

The Guardian interviews Robert Chandler, translator of the works of Russian writer Andrei Platonov.

You've argued that Russians will eventually come to recognise Platonov as their greatest prose writer. Given that he's up against titans such as Gogol, Tolstoy and Chekhov this is quite a claim.

Well, it probably sounds less startling to Russians than it does to English and Americans. I've met a huge number of Russian writers and critics who look on Platonov as their greatest prose writer of the last century. In my personal judgment, it was confirmed for me during the last stages of my work on Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida, an anthology of short stories I compiled for Penguin Classics. I worked on this for several years, did most of the translations myself and revised them many times. I read through the proofs with enjoyment – I was still happy with the choices I had made – but there were only two writers whom I was still able to read with real wonder: Pushkin and Platonov. Even at this late stage I was still able to find new and surprising perceptions in Pushkin's The Queen of Spades and Platonov's The Return. This didn't happen with any other writers.

In a New York Times editorial, OK Go frontman Damien Kulash, Jr. testifies to the power of viral music video.

Grab all the publicly available mp3 files from 2010 SXSW showcasing artists via these unofficial bittorrent links.

Win Seth Grahame-Smith's new novel, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Atomic Books Comics Preview (highlights of the week's comics & graphic novel releases)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (highlights of the week's book releases)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists

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