Arts

7:25am

Tue May 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Freud's Couch Succumbs To Despair, Ennui

The famous couch used by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud was on display at his former home in London in 1986.
Anne Purkiss AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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7:03am

Tue May 7, 2013
Book Reviews

Postgraduate Post-Mortem In A Smart, Literary Mystery

There are many things to savor about Elanor Dymott's debut suspense novel, Every Contact Leaves a Trace -- among them, its baroque narrative structure and its clever manipulation of the stock, husband-who-hasn't-got-a-clue character. But Dymott really won me over when she pulled Robert Browning out of her crime kit. Nobody reads Robert Browning anymore, do they? As far as I can tell, high schools have thrown in the towel when it comes to teaching Victorian poetry; dissertations on Browning's dramatic monologues have all but dried up.

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5:15pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Book Reviews

Safety Is Relative: A Moving Account Of Life In Chechnya

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:00 pm

Russian troops patrol Minutka square in the Chechen capital on Monday, Feb. 28, 2000.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

How do you write an absorbing novel about unspeakable things? It's always a tricky business, and an editor I know once described the dilemma this way: "A reader needs to want to go there." What "there" means is the self-contained world of the book. And what would make a reader want to go deeply into a world of hopelessness and seemingly perpetual war, a world of torture and intimidation and exploding land mines? There are many answers. One of the most obvious, of course, is the language.

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4:57pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Europe

Crowdfunding Effort Seeks To Save Venice's Everyday Gondolas

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:00 pm

Nicolo Zen, director of Traditional Boat Museum of Venice, launched a crowd funding project to save one of the last traghetto gondolas — everyday boats used by the city's locals.
Christopher Livesay

Even if you haven't been to Venice, you're probably familiar with the city's famous tourist gondolas: With baroque silver ornaments, shiny black lacquer, and sumptuous red seat cushions, they're unabashedly fancy, not to mention ubiquitous. A ride with a gondolier costs at least 80 euros (about $105), rain or shine (and it's 110 — $144 — more to be serenaded).

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4:57pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Fine Art

Family Fights Sale Of Iconic Thomas Cole Painting

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:00 pm

Thomas Cole completed Portage Falls on the Genesee in 1839.
Courtesy Seward House Museum

A celebrated 19th century landscape painting by Thomas Cole is at the center of a 21st century fight: The Seward House Historic Museum in upstate New York wants to sell a painting that belonged to former Secretary of State William Seward, but on Tuesday Seward's great-great-grandson will be in court to try to block the sale.

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3:26pm

Mon May 6, 2013
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: Fried Peanut Butter And Banana

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:58 pm

Melissa approaches with caution.
NPR

It's strange to find a Fried Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich, famous as Elvis Presley's favorite, on a restaurant menu, given its effect on Elvis. It's like finding a store selling an Isadora Duncan commemorative scarf.

Nonetheless, freelance radio producer Melissa LaCasse and I decided to try the one offered by The Breslin in New York, listed as "fried peanut butter & banana sandwich with bourbon & vanilla."

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1:54pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Television

Linney Mines 'The Big C' For Serious Laughs

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:20 pm

Laura Linney and Alan Alda star in The Big C, now in its fourth season on Showtime. Linney took on the role not long before her own father died of cancer.
Showtime

From a young age, Laura Linney knew what she wanted to do with her life: act. There was no question.

She was a drama nerd in high school, and went onto Juilliard to study theater. But film acting was never the dream, and movie stardom definitely wasn't the goal.

"I was always completely intimidated by film," she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "I was not the sort of person who grew up thinking, 'Oh, I want to be in the movies.' I loved movies; I just didn't think I particularly belonged there."

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12:56pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Book Reviews

Godwin's 'Flora': A Tale Of Remorse That Creeps Under Your Skin

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:20 pm

Gail Godwin, whose latest novel is Flora, has been a finalist for the National Book Award and a Guggenheim fellow.
David Hermon Bloomsbury Press

Gail Godwin says one of the inspirations for her new novel, called Flora, is Henry James' ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge. There are ghosts in Flora, too: specters that arise out of what our narrator calls her "remorse." Godwin had me at that word, "remorse": It's such a great, old-fashioned word, and it suggests that there'll be a lot of awful things going on in this novel that will need to be atoned for.

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11:55am

Mon May 6, 2013
Monkey See

Entirely Real Photos: Greetings From These ABBA Puppets

Puppets of the ABBA members await you at what is, believe it or not, the world's first permanent ABBA museum.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Of all the museums opening tomorrow that are devoted to supergroups of the 1970s, surely none is more hotly anticipated than ABBA The Museum.

You can dance. You can jive. You can visit the gift shop.

And you can see these puppets, which also appeared in a video in which you can see them in action. Are these more or less creepy than wax museum figures? It's a toss-up.

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11:19am

Mon May 6, 2013
New In Paperback

May 6-12: An Apocalypse, A Trip To Malawi And Anne Boleyn

Cover of The Lower River

* Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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