“We hear that all the time, memory is not reliable, but to realize it for a fact, now, that’s probably the biggest change—the biggest, isolated change. I am not the type of person that is like, “This did happen.” I’m like, “Well, that’s how I remember it and maybe it happened.” Everything now has a probability. There is a 95% chance this happened the way I remember it, or there’s a 65% chance this happened the way I remember it.”
The Rumpus Interview With M.E. Thomas, author of Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight
“I slowly formed a style by watching my role models. My mother made pancakes in black silk negligees and high heels. My high school English teacher wore grey linen sacks and red lipstick with a pageboy haircut. My older sister wore cuffed denim shorts and sprayed her bangs. My high school nemeses wore spaghetti-strapped tank tops and short shorts. Bjork and her mini buns. Joni Mitchell and her lengths. I wasn’t any of these women, and yet this was the raw material from which I assembled my own look, either in alliance or defiance. What I ended up doing was wearing 1940s industrial pencil suits and eventually shaving my head. I did what I could with what I had and where I was.”
— Anisse Gross reviews Women In Clothes
“I was trying to write about Russia but I didn’t (and don’t) trust myself. There’s too much untranslatability. How do you ever know a place? Through a character probably, through the people who you know who inhabit the place and how you’ve seen them behave. Steinbeck’s A Russian Journal was asking all the right questions fifty years ago yet not quite answering them, and many of the contemporary Russian books I’d read, while some were great and even important, didn’t capture the world I saw before my eyes when we were there all those years. The weird shape of the book emerged from this weird collection of intuitions or whatever you want to call them.”
The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Jeff Parker, author of Where Bears Roam the Streets
“Days kept passing./I remember now./We were drinking red tea./You were telling me about the stars/and all I could think was how your hat/was blocks away sitting/on a pile of raked leaves.”
— "Near Real-Time" in Saint Friend by Carl Adamshick, reviewed by Matthew Daddona

What are your Rumblr editors reading this week? Well…

Molly: I do not enjoy spending time with Ralskonikov. Glad this is over!

ClaireI’m reading NW by Zadie Smith, which I had read once before for book club with Molly. It is SO GOOD the second time through. I don’t even have anything to say, I’m just amazed all over again by how smart and how good Zadie Smith is. 

LucyI am reading Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle! Compulsively.

JenI’m reading Summer of Hate by Chris Kraus. I think it may be illegal to read a book with ‘summer’ in the title in autumn so I’m making sure to finish by the equinox.

“The power structure ought to be very simple: the storyteller possesses the tale, and imparts it to an audience. One has the original, and the other creates, upon hearing it, a copy in their own minds. In a way, this is how a community is formed: through a sharing of stories.

But the dynamics of an interrogation result in a complete power shift: a story is no longer something to be shared or accepted, but something to be coerced, questioned, tested, and enslaved. With power now located in the interrogator’s hands, how can the speaker redeem himself? Tell the truth, or convince the interrogator. It will never be clear whether those two goals are identical in execution, or mutually exclusive.”
— Jeffrey Zuckerman reviews Guantanamo by Frank Smith
“I feel ashamed for the fat on my cheeks
try to disappear, but an American can be seen from miles away.
And Mom refuses
to hide her real Rolex
even when a watch
is unnecessary.”
— From Souvenir by Aimee Suzara, reviewed by Kenji Liu
“I remember very clearly writing a couple songs, or the genesis of a couple songs coming on swing sets, as I am swinging for exercise. Before I became more of a cripple it was a great form of exercise and anger management for me to sneak on the swings at McCarren Park if the kids weren’t there, to sneak on the swings at Prospect Park when I lived in Brooklyn, and ride the swings and have the Walkman with me. Occasionally these melodies would come because my body was feeling freer and physical, moving up and down on a swing set like a pendulum. It liberated the music and then I’d go back later on and sit there and try to shape them into a song.”
The Rumpus Interview with Chris Stroffolino, of Silver Jews, by Rob Rubsam. Stroffolino has a new solo album, Griffith Park.