Links of the week, 10/14/2011

This week: literary contretemps, old X-Files episodes, and a particularly lovely art project.

  • I don’t have any particular allegiance in the strange friendship/rivalry between authors Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace, which has persisted—and perhaps festered—even after Wallace’s 2008 suicide. (I think Franzen is a smug, glib, often astonishingly unempathetic writer, and I’ve never read Wallace’s Infinite Jest, just a few of his essays.) But even without a dog in the fight, I find Michelle Dean’s examination of Franzen’s latest inflammatory statements about Wallace to be fascinating and insightful.
  • I happily second Slate’s recommendation that Breaking Bad fans check out some of the episodes that Breaking creator Vince Gilligan wrote for The X-Files back when he was a writer-producer there. In addition to “Drive,” “Pusher,” and “Bad Blood,” which Slate mentions, “Paper Hearts” and “Tithonus” are evocative and eloquent, and though I have some misgivings about “Small Potatoes,” it does feature a very funny, self-deprecating turn from David Duchovny.
  • Linda Holmes’s essay on the destruction of books as a cost-saving measure by overstocked, underfunded libraries thoughtfully balances cool rationality and sentiment.
  • What a treat to stumble across this Architizer post—with photos!—about a Dutch artist’s recreation of Reims Cathedral with poplar trees standing in for the stone pillars! The beautiful ground level shots, in particular, make me want to visit De Groene Kathedraal.