Literature

They're back!

WRITERS ISSUE: Armistead Maupin catches us up on the girls in Mary Ann in Autumn

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Lost city

WRITERS ISSUE: Peter Plate's Elegy Written on a Crowded Street stares into the Market Street abyss

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Past presence

Simon Reynolds sounds off about the music of hauntology

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT/MUSIC/VISUAL ART A present from the past — the paradox within that phrase is as close as one might get to pithily describing hauntology. The term was coined in 1993 by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida to describe utopian specters within capitalist society. But more recently, the music writer Simon Reynolds has specifically applied hauntology — literally, ghost logic — to music, using the term to describe the playfully eerie studio-as-séance-site releases on the British label Ghost Box, and similar recordings.Read more »

Call of the grisly

Paco Ignacio Taibo II constructs a guide to corruption in Mexico City Noir

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT With volumes devoted to numerous U.S. cities and quite a few foreign capitals, it sometimes seems as if Akashic Books' expanding line of noir story anthologies will wind up covering virtually every major metropolis on earth. Because less gritty burgs like Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Phoenix all have entries in the crime fiction series, it's only fair that Mexico City gets a nod.Read more »

Addicts unanimous

The urge to gorge or smoke crack is explored in two habit-forming new memoirs
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arts@sfbg.com

LIT What is it about addiction memoirs? Like Pringles — something food junkie Frank Bruni might know something about — you just can't have one. They're easy to devour and easy to digest, as compulsively consumable as the impulsions they're filled with.Read more »

Ride the Iron Horse

Author Kevin Starr sings the praises of the Golden Gate Bridge

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There's a mysterious paradox present in the fact the Golden Gate Bridge was essentially born in the pit of the Great Depression. On the one hand, this marvel of architecture and beauty stands for potential and optimism as made manifest in the dreamiest haven of California. On the other, the Golden Gate is like a metallic siren, known as a place where those who have lost contact with American life go to disappear.Read more »

Road rules

The Bike Snob rides into town, swinging

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caitlin@sfbg.com

CULTURE Dear cars: I'm only doing my part to keep the air clean, and I promise you, I'm trying to stay in my lane when I have one. I'm looking as cute as I can astraddle my fly new ride, puffing up hills for health. Alas, your intermittent, unwarranted honk is a sorry companion to my bike high. "Get a car!" is a bummer too. Bicyclists sure enough have to put up with some shit.Read more »

"Chronic" 2010

D.A. Powell brings love, longing, and lyricism back to poetic life
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arts@sfbg.com

LIT/NCIBA Because poetic subjectivity is by and large an exclusive undertaking Read more »

Pigs in Oakland

Novella Carpenter creates an urban homestead in Farm City
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arts@sfbg.com

LIT/NCIBA One gets the sense that Novella Carpenter can do anything. A girl from rural Idaho, she knows how to hack it in "scruffy, loud, and unkempt" Oakland, the murder capital of the United States, amid the drug deals, gun fights, and open prostitution on the urban fringe. She also maintains a healthy, active relationship with her auto mechanic boyfriend (described as "a love sponge"), her many friends, and her local community. Read more »

Point for point

Elif Batuman's Possessed charts a hidden map of Russia

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