Regular contributor and occasional husband Ben Marcus’s new novel, The Flame Alphabet, is out today. Marcus is currently on tour. Believer interviews editor Ross Simonini conducted a conversation with Marcus, “Human Beings Are Making a Comeback,” for Salon. Many of Marcus’s contributions to the Believer, including his luminous review of the Jet 708521 JWP-12DX Portable Planer, from the magazine’s first issue, are available online.
fun fact: I’ve started up a small side project for myself called said the king. so far the brand encompasses 2 shelves - 1 big, 1 small. It’s been designed by, and will be manufactured/shipped/plusplusplus through, ideacious.
We’re 8 early orders away from starting the first manufacturing run of shelves! *and* because it’s going through ideacious, if you order early you’ll earn revenue from every shelf sold, from the 2nd run on, for the next 10 years. awesome. I know.
so for example: next preorder (position 8) earns $5,011 every 100 units
available in 3 types of sustainable wood | made & designed in Cana
$2350 | buy one on ideacious
questions? ask karen [at] saidtheking.com
The entire 50-word* lexicon of Dr Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham:
a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you
*Random House publisher Bennett Cerf then bet Seuss $50 he couldn’t do a book in just 50 words.
When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.
The Paris Review, Summer 2004"
See also: “The Running Novelist,” The New Yorker, June 9, 2008 (I really need to read Murakami’s autobio already)
via Daily Routines - an interesting wealth of routines. Search by profession, habits, best of. For instance: Jonathan Lethem and Paul Auster, Stephen King, Stefan Sagmeister, Gerhard Richter, Jonathan Safran Foer, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Truman Capote, Isaac Asimov… and it goes on. Thank gawd this blog is being published as a book.
i love to see form and function come together so thoughtfully
Oh heather and her amazing finds. :)
"Parallel chapter unlocked" a-mazing. Can you imagine this interaction paired up with a book like House of Leaves? My brain could hardly handle the experience of that book as it is.
these are the types of concept videos i get very excited about.
One and only onliners booklet.
A book that is only one line heigh, filled with oneliners from artists, musicians, architects, designers, philisofers, etc. With empty pages to add your own.
- Eat food.
- Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
- Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry.
- Avoid food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
- Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients.
- Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.
- Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
- Avoid food products that make health claims.
- Avoid food products with the wordoid “lite” or the terms “low-fat” or “nonfat” in their names.
- Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not.
- Avoid foods that you see advertised on television.
- Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
Everyone should read Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. It takes a total of a half an hour of your time. And I hope that it changes your relationship with food forever. These are just the first twelve “rules” but there are 64 pleasantly entertaining rules to eat by.
No other book has had such an intense effect on me. House of Leaves is so incredibly good.
It is highly unlikely Navidson ever intended to use a book of ten year olf matches on a journey as important as this one. In face, he packed several boxes of recently purchased matches which he lost along with the trailer and bike. Probably some private history caused him to carry the matchbook on him.
To Lerned’s credit, they are good matches. the heads ignite easily and the staffs burn evenly. Staker located one of these matchbooks and after recreating the conditions in the house (namely the temperature) found that each match burned an average of 12.1 seconds. With only 24 matches plus the matchbook cover, which Staker figured out would burn for 36 seconds, Navidson had a total of five minutes and forty-four seconds of light.
The book, however, is 736 pages long. Even if Navidson can average a page a minute, he will still come up 704 pages short (he had actually read 26 pages). to overcome this obstacle, he tears out the first page, which of course consists of two pages of text, and rolls it into a tight burn for about two minutes and provide him with just enough time to read the next two pages.
Unfortunately Staker’s calculations are really more a form of academic onanism, a jerk of numeric wishful thinking, having very little to do with the real world. As Navidson reports, he soon begins falling behind. Perhaps his reading slows or the paper burns unevenly or he has bungled the lighting of the next page. Or maybe the words in the book have been arranged in such a way as to make them impossible to read. Whatever the reason, Navidson is forced to light the cover of the book as well as the spine. He tries to read faster, inevitably loses some of the text, frequently burns his fingers.
In the end, Navidson is left with one page and one match. For a long time he waits in darkness and cold, postponing the final bit of illumination. At last though, he grips the match by the neck and after locating the friction strip sparks to life a final ball of light. First, he reads a few lines by match light and then as the heat bites his fingertips he applies the flame to the page. Here then is one end: a final act of consumption. And as the fire rapidly devours the paper, Navidson’s eyes frantically sweep down over the text, keeping just ahead of the necessary immolation, until as he reaches the last few words, flames lick around his hands, ash peels off into the surrounding emptiness, and then as the fire retreats, dimming, its light suddenly spent, the book is gone leaving nothing behind but invisible traces already dismantled in the dark.