Yesterday marked the 83rd birthday of outlaw novelist-poet Tom Robbins, and in lieu of cake and candles, we’re celebrating with this candid animated interview courtesy of Blank on Blank. Originally recorded in 1994, the rascally Robbins talks at length about the quirks of his creative approach including how “a raven quill dipped in lizard blood” is preferable to writing on a typewriter. So spice up your reading list with Another Roadside Attraction, Jitterbug Perfume, or another of his beautifully bizarre books, and enjoy this unique interview. Happy Birthday, Tom!
Celebrations are in the works to help commemorate Philip Roth’s 80th birthday next week (March 19). For those of us who can’t get to Newark for the $35 bus tour traveling to places recalled in his books, or who weren’t invited to the literary party given by New York magazine, we can look forward to the new American Masters film Philip Roth: Unmaskedwhich has its world theatrical premiere beginning today at Film Forum in New York City and premieres nationally Friday, March 29 on PBS stations. Although Mr. Roth grants very few interviews, he allowed a journalist to spend 10 days interviewing him on camera, culminating in this 90-minute documentary–which will be purchased for the library collection. You can read the entire NYT article here. And check out the EPL catalog for books by and about the Philip Roth.
After hearing at least two programs speaking about the new Sherlock, I decided it was a good time to mention it here. The BBC‘s 3 part series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead and Martin Freeman as Watson has become quite famous in Britain over the past few months. Sunday night, on Oct. 24th at 9 pm, it will start airing on PBS. Apparently, you can expect a terrific production. Some reviewers were concerned that a contemporary Holmes might detract from the essence of Conan Doyle’s character, however, the writers have updated the detective in clever ways. As David Bianculli says, the new Sherlock doesn’t rely on cocaine when he’s nervous, he prefers to slap nicotine patches on his arm. Reviews indicate the characters are funnier than in past versions, also.
Robin Young, host of Here and Now on WBUR presented a discussion on the 21st century Sherlock Holmes. NPR’s David Bianculli absolutely raved about the show.