1. I interviewed Alex Bledsoe, whose books I was all snootily like “Oh my god, pirates, vampires, and fairies. Ugh.” and then ended up eating the tastiest crow as I read the books. Literally some of the most fun reading I’ve done in a while coupled with some interesting mulling overs of what it means to be a Tennessean (well, except for the pirate books). And the interview is great! I asked him some of the questions I’ve been mulling over here–what happened to vampires? Where’s the Southern The Haunting of Hill House? I’m happy with this one.
2. Here’s the official release announcement for The Book of Apex: Volume 3 of Apex Magazine. Note that “Frank” is third! I don’t think that has any meaning in real life, but three seems like an auspicious number so I’m going to brag about it anyway.
Holy cow, S. brought me the new Paris Review saying only “There’s a piece on Jean Lafitte you’re going to love.” And so I flip through and there it is–“Pirate City” by Rich Cohen and, yep, holy shit. It’s excellent. Every bit of it is excellent. And it’s accompanied by these sad and mysterious water color paintings.
And it’s more a story of New Orleans in general, kind of arguing that, even as New Orleans existed before Lafitte, he’s still the spiritual father of the city.
And I buy it. Really. It makes me want to argue that the spiritual father of Nashville is someone like Bob Renfroe or our friend Joseph Deraque–men who could be barely recognized as men, who still made the city worth living in, who protected it when they could have turned their backs on it, who are mostly forgotten now, for lack of the right last name, the right racial or ethnic demographic.
But all that is just to say that Cohen says this–“History is not what’s remembered, but what remains when everything else is forgotten”–which I kind of want to think about for a million years.