BY DAVID BUEHRENS VIA GO FUND ME
John Wilcock is an under-recognized but vital part of U.S. history. In the 1960s he helped establish the Underground Press Syndicate, which became the model for alternative media and the New Journalism movement. Among numerous credits to his accomplishments, he was a co-founder of the Village Voice and, with Andy Warhol, he co-created Interview Magazine.
BY LAURIE SHECK VIA THE PARIS REVIEW
A Few Facts He wore five-pound shackles on his ankles every day for four years. This was in the prison camp in Omsk where he was serving out a sentence of hard labor after being convicted of sedition for being part of a revolutionary cell dedicated to the liberation of the serfs and freedom of the press.
For the seven months following his arrest, he’d been kept in solitary confinement in the Peter and Paul Fortress on the Neva, his cell window smeared with an oily paste to prevent any daylight from seeping through.
BY ROBERT D. MCFADDEN VIA NY TIMES
Nat Hentoff, an author, journalist, jazz critic and civil libertarian who called himself a troublemaker and proved it with a shelf of books and a mountain of essays on free speech, wayward politics, elegant riffs and the sweet harmonies of the Constitution, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.
BY KATIE ROGERS VIA NY TIMES
On the eve of her latest book release, Anne Rice did not lurk online reading early reviews. She examined a set of taxidermied kittens, posed into a Victorian wedding scene, at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn.
“It’s like making a vampire against its will,” she said with empathy. “Somebody made these little kitties into art against their will.”
Surrounded by the dead (sailfish, squirrels, pheasants), Ms. Rice, 75, suddenly found inspiration. “There have to be kitties on the astral plane,” she said.
BY PAUL SORENE VIA FLASHBAK
Rod Serling (December 25, 1924 – June 28, 1975) was asked by a student in 1972, “Where Do Ideas Come From?” Sterling, best know as the creator of TV’s The Twilight Zone, the winner of 9 Emmy Awards for writing, answered fluently.
BY ALEX ABRAMOVICH VIA PARIS REVIEW
Luc Sante was born in Verviers, Belgium, in 1954, and emigrated with his parents to the United States as a child. The family settled in northern New Jersey, where his father, Lucien, found work in a Teflon factory and his mother, Denise, worked in a high school cafeteria. Sante was educated in Manhattan, attending Regis High School and then Columbia University, which he left without a degree. After stints as a critic—for Interview, Wigwag, New York, and Spy, among other places—he won a Whiting Award and published his first book, Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991). This was followed by Evidence (1992), a volume of crime-scene photographs; The Factory of Facts (1998), a memoir; Kill All Your Darlings (2007), a collection of essays and occasional pieces; The Other Paris (2015), which serves as a sort of bookend to Low Life; and several other books, anthologies, and introductions.
BY NIGEL JAGUISS VIA WILLAMETTE WEEK
She was a Portland author and former WW columnist with a yen for boxing.Katherine Dunn in 1969 (Bob Peterson) By Nigel Jaquiss
Katherine Dunn, whose best-selling novel Geek Love was a National Book Award finalist in 1989 and became a cult classic, died May 11 at her Portland home. She was 70. Her son, Eli Dapolonia, says complications from lung cancer caused Dunn’s death. In addition to Geek Love and two earlier novels, Attic and Truck, Dunn worked as a journalist, writing for WW throughout the 1980s and also for The New York Times, Vogue, the Los Angeles Times, Playboy, The Oregonian, PDXS and other publications.
“For nearly 10 years, Katherine Dunn’s brilliant prose graced the pages of Willamette Week,” says editor and publisher Mark Zusman. “Her boxing coverage, her weekly column and her reportage on the underbelly of Portland were without parallel. She was a loyal friend, a great raconteur, and had as firm a handle on the tools of our craft as any writer I had the pleasure of working with. While I was her editor, I always felt like she was my mentor.”
BY SHANNON MCKENNA SCHMIDT AND JONI RENDON VIA MENTAL FLOSS
Rather than forgive and forget, these wordsmiths used their poison pens to deliver a healthy dose of literary revenge.
1. NORMAN MAILER (Courtesy Mental Floss/Wikimedia Commons) The honeymoon didn’t last long for the notoriously combative Mailer and Lady Jeanne Campbell, his third wife and sparring partner. The pair’s bickering was so fierce that Campbell joked they could clear a room quicker than anyone in New York. The British aristocrat gamely stuck it out for a year before making haste to a divorce court while Mailer symbolically murdered her in An American Dream. In the dark urban fantasy, the main character strangles his wife, throws her out a window, and sodomizes the maid. The misogynistic tale — called “the hate book of all time” by Campbell — helped cement Mailer’s place as public enemy number one on the feminist hit list.
2. ERNEST HEMINGWAY (Courtesy Mental Floss/Getty Images) When Martha Gellhorn claimed, “Hell hath no fury like E.H. scorned,” she spoke from experience. Hemingway nursed a long-time grudge against the war correspondent, the only one of his four wives to commit the cardinal sin of walking out on him. A decade later, despite having married again, he took pot shots at Martha in Across the River and into the Trees. “She had more ambition than Napoleon and about the talent of the average High School Valedictorian,” claimed the protagonist. Not only did Hemingway’s fictional alter ego deem his ex-wife conceited, ambitious, and untalented, he wished he could hang her from a tree. The comments were so vitriolic his publisher feared they might incite a libel suit.
BY ALEXANDER BISLEY VIA PLAYBOY
Irvine Welsh has a cold. But the voice of Britain’s chemical generation still comes through dry and wry from his adopted Chicago home. Twenty years after Trainspotting became a cinematic juggernaut, juxtaposing the joys and horrors of drug life, Trainspotting 2 just kicked off filming in Edinburgh. In the intervening years, Welsh has kept busy. Filth was a terrific film, James McAvoy brilliantly realizing Welsh’s corrupt cop Bruce Robertson. Most recently Welsh wrote A Decent Ride, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins and, bringing Trainspotting’s one and only Begbie back, The Blade Artist. Verging on 60, the Scot is in an entertaining, avuncular mood. Welsh and I discussed this trio, shooting Trainspotting 2, the problem with porn and, of course, The Donald.
BY AMY HABEN
(Cover of Members Only by Julie Tibbott)
You know what’s cool? When your friend writes a book that you love about a subject that you would check out anyway. I present to you Member’s Only, an in-depth review of every secret society known. From former President George Bush’s alma matter as one of the ‘Skull and Bones,’ to ‘The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn,’ whose members included W.B. Yeats, Bram Stoker, and Aleister Crowley.