Denis Johnson, the new Dickens
Last summer, the same critics who've long noted Playboy's declining cultural relevance were surprised to learn that the magazine had commissioned Denis Johnson -- author of the 2007 National Book Award-winning novel Tree of Smoke -- to write a 40,000-word serial novel.
Given the impotence of Playboy's impact -- losses for the last quarter of 2008 exceeded $145 million -- Johnson's crime caper will likely get more exposure now that it's been published in book form by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Nobody Move deserves the attention. Not just for refreshing the hard-boiled idiom of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, but also for inventing a variation of the ethical obsessions of Charles Dickens.
Bloggers We Love
Bridgette Redman and Lansing Theater
Drew McManus' "Neo Classical" at the Partial Observer
Marc Moss (Missoula, MT artist)
Mary Louise Schumacher's "Art City"
Other Great Sites
American Composers Orchestra
Arts & Letters Daily
Center for Arts and Culture
Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive
National Arts Journalism Program
NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater & Musical Theater
New Music Box: American Music Center
USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program