Friday High Five: American Slappers, $5 Million New Chair of Australian Literature

America remakes The Slap

Thank you to Junkee for sharing the trailer for NBC’s American remake of Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, which replaces cricket with baseball, Jonathan Lapaglia (as Hector) with Peter Saarsgard, Essie Davis (as Anouk) with Uma Thurman … and Melissa George (as Rosie) with Melissa George, again. The series will premiere on NBC next Thursday February 12.

Asked how the show might have been different if it were to appear on cable instead of network television, Saarsgard quipped, ‘In cable someone would have shot someone else’s child’. Only in America.

Five-year-old billed for missing birthday party

When a five-year-old boy missed his friend’s birthday party at an indoor play centre, an invoice was sent home in his schoolbag for the entry fee (about $26). It’s escalated into an international incident (or at least, an international media story), with both sides talking to news outlets, small claims court lawsuits being threatened, and legal advice sought. Oh, and the boy who missed the party? His friend won’t play with him anymore.

University of Melbourne gets new chair of Australian literature

The University of Melbourne is to get a new professorship of Australian literature, to be called the Boisbouvier Founding Chair - thanks to a $5 million donation from Melbourne couple John Wylie and Myriam Boisbouvier. The chair will be a partnership between the university and the State Library, and will be time limited, ‘so lots of different people can hold the chair’.

‘Everything is a metaphor’: Andie Fox on re-reading

The Meanjin blog’s What I’m Reading series is a frequently fascinating regular peek into what various writerly (and readerly) types have been delving into lately, and why. This week’s instalment is well worth your time: it’s a deeply affecting, beautifully written reflection by Andie Fox (the Guardian, Daily Life) on re-reading for sustenance at times when life gets too overwhelming to take in anything new: from Hairy MacLary to Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red.

36 questions to make you fall in (and out of) love

This month, the New York Times published a series of 36 questions (broken into three parts) that can - apparently - lead to love, if explored in pairs. The idea is that the interviewees make themselves vulnerable in each other’s company, leading to deeper intimacy.

The New Yorker has published a tongue-in-cheek companion list: ‘a follow-up study to see whether the intimacy between two committed partners can be broken down by forcing them to ask each other 36 questions no one in a relationship should actually ask’.

5) What’s your favorite song? No, it’s not. I’ve never once heard you listen to that song.

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