Cuddling, continued: So refreshing to have an old-fashioned literary debate. Among the responses to Katie Roiphe's provocative (and I thought mostly sharp) NYTBR cover piece on how new and old Great (White) Male Novelists write about sex: in The Rumpus, Steve Almond "basically agree[s]" but with a host of caveats, the most substantial and convincing being that today's cohort has toned down the sex not because of their castrating feminist college girlfriends but because what was once taboo-busting is now ubiquitous, while on The Awl Seth Colter Walls isn't happy that Roiphe shoehorned the worlds-containing DFW into her narrow thesis.
Talk radio: For how many of you is Stephen King's the nightmare voice of doom running through your head? Shooter Jennings (son of the great outlaw Waylon) makes that a reality on the upcoming record from his band Hierophant, Black Ribbons (not listed on Amazon yet), in which King, working from a script he and Jennings wrote together, narrates as the apocalyptic DJ character Will O' the Wisp. I guess imagine Wolfman Jack spinning the soundtrack, not for the end of high school, but for the end of the world.
Costa categories: Colm Toibin, often an awards bridesmaid, captures a "major" prize for the first time by winning the Costa Novel Award for Brooklyn, over the favored Booker champ, Wolf Hall (on our own Best of 2009 list, Brooklyn was at #4, just behind Wolf Hall's #3). The other Costa "category winners": Raphael Selbourne's Beauty for First Novel, Graham Farmelo's The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac for Biography, Christopher Reid's A Scattering for Poetry, and Patrick Ness's The Ask and the Answer for Children's Book. The Costa folks (I think this is the year we no longer have to refer to them as "the Costas (formerly the Whitbreads)") will name their Book of the Year from those five winners on January 26.
Moving & shaking: Fresh from a pretty funny Daily Show appearance last night for the bearded one (whom I must mention I once saw in a hotel fully dorked out in a Clone Wars t-shirt--really), the confusingly titled George Lucas's Blockbusters (it's about the history of blockbuster movies, not just his, nor is it by him) jumps to #3 on this morning's Movers & Shakers list.