Today in publishing and literature: Read Dave Eggers while you shower, old books have seized the menswear department, and why Americans just don't "get" Tintin comics.
The Thing is a literary quarterly that publishes stories printed overpriced household objects, like cutting boards. The latest edition is a shower curtain with a short story by Dave Eggers. It costs $65, which seems high, even for a curiosity item. Unlike The Thing's window shade version of a Miranda July story, it doesn't even work as a conversation starter and will be hidden away in bathroom. On a shower curtain. [The Thing Quarterly via Jacket Copy]
Chain clothing stores really do enjoy using artfully battered hardcover books as props to enhance in-store ambience, or just mark where the pants section ends. This pairing somehow feels natural, which could have something to do with the fact so many notable writers have been conspicuously well-dressed, or the fact that shelves just look good with lots of books on them. [The Paris Review]
Steven Spielberg may have Tintin jumping from jeeps and speaking with an accent that could best be described as "European," but don't confuse him with an American comic book. In The New York Times Charles McGrath notes that while the original books by the Belgian artist Herge had plots that spanned the globe, but no sense of history or place. McGrath argues Tintin's "innocence and indeterminacy - his unworldliness" is the source of his charm. Unlike, say, Batman, Tintin doesn't have an origin story. He's just there, perpetually adrift and ready for adventure. [The New York Times]