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June 21, 2013

Shorties (Courtney Love on Her Memoir, Daniel Handler on Writing Picture Books, and more)

Flavorwire interviews Courtney Love about her forthcoming memoir.

It's an autobiography, then?

It's a memoir. It's not salacious in the sense of… if you look at my Wiki it looks like I've had sex twice. I'm trying to keep that myth going. You know, my stuff with other people — that thing — is really nobody’s business. I made that really clear with Harper Collins from the beginning, that there was going to be no malarkey, no name-dropping like that. I mean, it's super important to keep my private life discreet — the few times that's been breached, it's never been a good thing. Edward Norton and I dated [but] you never saw us on a red carpet together. Other than personal snapshots there's very few photos of us together. It's not public, and I like it like that.

Talk of the Nation interviews Daniel Handler about his children's picture book The Dark.

"I can't think of a story that doesn't have something terrible in it," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "Otherwise, it's dull. So when I embarked into the world of picture books, my first thought was to do something about the dark."

Stereogum lists the 10 best Pink Floyd songs.

The Millions interviews Rachel Kushner about her novel The Flamethrowers.

The Millions: Both of your novels, Telex From Cuba and The Flamethrowers, deal explicitly with foreign politics. What is your relationship as an American novelist to political responsibility?

Rachel Kushner: I don't see the artist as necessarily political. I think if a novel is polemical, it's prevented from doing its transcendent work as art. If it's successful, it transcends the political. That said, you're correct in pointing out that both novels deal with political material, but I think there’s a deep tradition of this inside of storytelling. If you look at the novels of Balzac and Victor Hugo, and even the moderns — Proust, Céline, to name favorites — the characters are always people situated inside the processes and effects of history. I guess I'm a writer who is interested in the way that the world and historical events and processes pressure characters, and the way characters interrelate and situate themselves in their social milieu, political milieu, and so forth. And whether I'm writing something contemporary or in the past does not change this — it's an outlook. A work of art can have a political emanation to it, but it cannot be the thrust or reducible point of the work.

PopMatters interviews legendary singer Darlene Love.

The Rumpus interviews cartoonist Chester Brown.

Stream new Dead Milkmen songs.

Stephen King did an interview with the Reddit community.

At the Oxford American, the curator of the Alan Lomax Archive discusses the cultural importance of YouTube.

Now, if MTV was the "automated mass-produced" hegemon, YouTube is the great equalizer. Lomax would have cherished it. Ken Burns's PBS? David Simon's HBO? YouTube is as close to a democratic means of self-presentation, self-representation, and self-dissemination of site-specific expressive activity as we’ve managed yet. It goes without saying that it's been a tremendous boon to local musical culture, from Algerian chaabi to Zimbabwe's Urban Grooves, but it's also done a deep service to Lomax himself, providing a means of disseminating his legacy further than we—and certainly he—could have ever hoped to in the past.

Litro recommends 10 Polish books you should be reading.

The EchoNest explains how music taste predicts movie taste.

The Ms. Blog interviews Masha Hamilton about her new novel, What Changes Everything.

The Hairpin shares six decades of Harriet the Spy covers.

Vote for the 2013 song of the summer at Stereogum.

The Center for Fiction gets summer reading suggestions from authors.

Win Hilary Mantel's novels Bring Up the Bodies and Wolf Hall and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's contest at Largehearted Boy.

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Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics & graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
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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