Rehearsal pic from my play, ALL OUR HAPPY DAYS ARE STUPID. Michael McManus as The Man in the Bear Suit. Naomi Skwarna as Ms. Oddi. He offers her a cigarette in Cannes.
The cover of the German edition of How Should a Person Be? to be published by Rowohlt in Spring 2014.
"I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
Isaac Newton (via believermag)
Margaux’s painting hand.
Toni Morrison, age 18, with high school classmates.
Believer editors Sheila Heti and Heidi Julavits, and Believer regular Leanne Shapton, are working on a book together titled Women in Clothes, about women’s relationship to style and why women wear what they wear. Contributors include Miranda July, Zadie Smith, Eileen Myles and others. If you would like to contribute by filling out a survey (the book is being built up from these surveys) please visit this website. You needn’t care about clothes, or be a writer, or consider yourself fashionable, or even think about these things often, to contribute.
"Margaux [Williamson] is much messier and freer; she’s a painter. I think you can be more precise with language than you can with paint and you can go back to an earlier draft, whereas with painting if you make a line you can’t just go back to an earlier draft: you have to deal with the mess you’ve made. We’ve had this conversation a lot. Margaux thinks the writer becomes neurotic because you can go backwards, and because you can go backwards in your art you can go backwards in your life. With my other books I sort of feel that they’re clean and good and so on, and after I published them the response didn’t make me feel any less clean or good; this book is so dirty. The response to it, and allowing myself to do all these interviews or whatever; everything’s become messy and dirty in my life and in my sense of myself. The book’s effect on my life has been kind of radical in a way that feels counter to my nature and everything."
I’m at the Sydney Writer’s Festival this week, and I’m so excited to see the British poet Kate Tempest read this afternoon. Here is her powerful performance of her piece, ‘Icarus’. And here is some beautiful advice she has for young poets, playwrights and performers:
"Finish things. That’s how you develop your voice. Whether it’s a poem or a short film or a painting or a piece of theatre, whatever it is, finish it. Let it go and move onto the next thing. Lots of the stuff I’ve done I think is really, really shit but it’s fine because it’s finished. You’ve got to try to be a better artist today than you were yesterday. And if you never finish anything that’s hard because you’re always trying to be the best artist that’s ever been."
- Sheila Heti
The American paperback comes out in June! I really love this gentle new cover.
And a question for you: Should I be on the Times 100 list? Vote here.
Tomorrow (Saturday 9th) is the first U.S. screening of painter and filmmaker Margaux Wiliamson’s film Teenager Hamlet. This “constructed reality” movie is about the tension between the Hamlets of the world (who worry about what’s a worthy action to take in life) and the Ophelias (who have faith in the redemptive power of beauty).
It is the companion piece to Believer editor Sheila Heti’s book, How Should a Person Be? Both the book and the movie were created between 2006 and 2012 and feature many of the same people.
Please come! $9 suggested donation. 7:30 PM at UnionDocs (322 Union Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn).