Start here (via Jeff)
Start here (via Jeff)
Why didn’t I know about this earlier? The Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database (via Scribbling Woman)
Approximately 170,000 volumes and papers have been discovered in the Cambridge University library tower. Some people believed that this stash of tomes represented little more than the 19th century equivalent of the now classic 20th century pornographic confessional Fist Me Hard! Fist Me Fast! But as it turns out, this cache yielded first editions of several 19th century authors, a collection of penny dreadfuls, and the bulk of it remains untouched. And by “untouched,” keep your dirty minds out of the gutter, folks. You know what I mean. Thanks to…read more
In a development that should infuriate all midlisters starving and shivering in hovels right now, the Book Standard is now reporting that Barbara Walters walked away from a $6 million advance on her memoir. Walters was in a contract with Miramax Books, only to ditch the contract in question. Now she’s shopping around for a sum closer to Alan Greenspan’s $8.5 million advance. Of course, seeing as how Greenspan’s advance was contingent upon writing about some kinky moments with Ayn Rand, it remains to be seen what Walters could possibly…read more
Margaret Atwood’s Hay Journal: “Due to bureaucratic foot-dragging, things weren’t quite finished. The parking lot was a bog of squelchy red mud, the consistency my cholesterol-thickened bloodstream would be, I feared, after the binge of cheese-gobbling, double-cream feasting, and sheep’s milk ice-cream I knew I would shortly not be able to resist. Grimly smiling Welshmen were vacuuming up the standing water with giant water-sucking machines, while others spread woodchips wherever possible, singing mournful Welsh woodchip-spreading songs.”
Social Science Research Network: “This Article is as simple and provocative as its title suggests: it explores the legal implications of the word fuck. The intersection of the word fuck and the law is examined in four major areas: First Amendment, broadcast regulation, sexual harassment, and education. The legal implications from the use of fuck vary greatly with the context.” And, by the way, there are some fun footnotes and here. (via MeFi)
Pictures within pictures within pictures within… (via Rory)>
In a column for the Chicago Sun-Times, book editor Henry Kisor announces his retirement and has some choice words for the publishing industry: In 1973, we still lived in a world of text on paper. Book publishing was a gentleman’s occupation that held intellectual integrity to be as important as the balance sheet; publishers sought to bring readers literary excellence while turning a reasonable profit. Now most publishers have become subsidiaries of soulless corporations that wallow in downmarket pop culture for the sake of maximizing stockholder returns. (via Pete Lit)
Chip McGrath talks with John Updike. While the results are certainly better than, say, a sycophantic and humorless conversation with Sam Tanenhaus, one reads this Updike interview wondering whether McGrath was operating on auto pilot. After all, how many times does one get to talk with Updike at length? Okay, so he’s no fan of the Internet, but shouldn’t you give the man some space to ramble at length? Not only is an observation concerning Updike avoiding cell phones in his novels not followed up on, but there’s also Updike’s…read more
For those who have emailed me about this story, know that I am still pursuing it. I spoke with Millenia Black this morning and I have several calls into many parties pertaining to this matter. There is a forthcoming podcast in the works devoted exclusively to this issue, but here’s what I can tell you now: The Great Betrayal, the novel in question, is being released by NAL Trade on December 5, 2006. The novel will feature the characters as Caucasian, rather than the suggested change to African-American. Black claims…read more
Another great character actor gone. Did you know he was friends with Kerouac?
Dan Wickett serves up an e-panel with six literary translators.
Andy Moorer is the man behind “Deep Note,” the THX noise you are deafened with just as the THX logo pops up before a movie begins. The blog Music Thing featured an interview with him in 2005, which explains how the sound was made and notes that the score is a C program containing about 20,000 lines of code. There are many other fascinating tidbits about Deep Note, including this student’s attempt to recreate it.
Angry Asian Man, the time has come for you to inveigh against this McDonald’s tie-in.
Helen Brown talks with Will Self: “Does he see himself as a show-off? ‘Definitely. Slightly Tourette-ish. Like any person who has difficulty with the normal range of relationships, I either do enormous intimacy or “wordy bastard persona.” I feel quite compassionate towards myself about it. I know what the motivation is. But as the years have gone by it has jibed more. I am essentially a solitary person. Apart from spending time with my family, I like long-distance walking and cycling. I just walked from London to Oxford in a…read more
Graphic spotted on the Gray Lady’s website: So after a mere eleven years as a columnist, Dowd’s a classic?
It all depends upon your definition of “normal.”
Remember the USFL.
Yes, you too can add “Host”-style sidenotes to your blog, thanks to this nifty plug-in. But what of sidenotes within sidenotes? Come on, Arc 90. We want the real deal! (Results shown here.) (via Kottke)
Dave Kehr notes (and there is also this followup post) that Jami Bernard, one of the most underrated film critics working today, has not had her contract renewed at the New York Daily News. Kehr speculates that this represents the Daily News getting “rid of one of those pesky, individual voices that keep gumming up the paper’s stated mission to be as bland and toothless as possible.” Kehr also confesses that he experienced considerable editorial interference from top brass and that this move represents an ongoing trend by newspapers to…read more
An interview with MAD cartoonist Al Jaffee. (via Fantagraphics Blog)
Sven Birkets writes lovingly of Cynthia Ozick: “Ozick is not repudiating her literary mentor, but she cuffs him, and in doing so suggests — as she does in these engaged and deftly turned essays — not only that great literature can withstand sharp inquiry from readers but also that such inquiry is vital.”
1966: Mao Tse Tung, at 73, claims to swim some 9 miles across the Yangtze River. 2006: Pat Robertson claims to have leg-pressed 2,000 pounds at the age of 73. One would think that Robertson’s people would have vetted this hilarious irony with their dear leader. But I like to think that there’s an insider working at The 700 Club with a marvelous sense of humor.
Not only did Clerks 2 receive an 8 minute standing ovation, but Kevin Smith has recorded an audio commentary track that you can download to your iPod and bring to the feature.
The BBC is reporting that Charles Webb has sold a sequel to The Graduate to Random House. Webb was initially reported by the BBC to be facing eviction. The book will be published in June 2007. Unfortunately, since Webb signed away any and all film rights for sequels based on The Graduate, it remains to be seen whether or not Hollywood will bestow Webb with a small stipend, assuming that someone decides that a cinematic sequel is worthwhile.
As everyone knows, the writers-to-general population ratio in Brooklyn is considerably higher than, say, the affluent liberal-to-general population ratio of Ross, California. Thankfully, publishing houses are picking up the slack. Sarah has the goods on the Dagger nominees. It’s an utter mystery why DC Comics didn’t explore this possibility years ago. Chick lit. Lad lit. Chica lit. This week in David Mitchell interviews: Arthur Salm. (See also Callie’s continuing series.) The infamous Bob Hoover talks with Richard Ford and gets very little outside of “It’s a big book, it’s an…read more
A quick reminder to all that, this week, it’s Television week (and I refer not to that ignoble, phosphor-flickering box you have sitting in the corner threatening to abscond with your time, but the novel by Jean-Phillipe Toussaint) over at the LBC. On this end, a podcast featuring translator Jordan Stump will be posted on Friday that you really won’t want to miss — particularly if you’re interested in the current state of translators in the publishing industry.
Guests: Carolyn Kellogg, Steve Saladino, Megan Sullivan, Amanda Darling, Kassia Kroszer, Kirk Biglione, Ron Hogan, Brian Murray, Michelle Wildgen, Mike Webster, Joseph Wortenva, Laurel Snyder and Delia Falconer. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Believing he may have hit the worst point in his life. Subjects Discussed: Dubious podcasting panels, marketing terminology, fisting, Tyler Cowen’s essay, bookstore websites, the “hit or miss” quality of BEA panels, whether or not “the long tail” is a great conspiracy theory, “the future is aluminum,” the relevancy of Wired, death, promoting a book without a publishing…read more
Starring: Ron Hogan and Kassia Kroszer
Bad enough that we’re seeing the return of Rocky Balboa. But Rambo IV? I remain curious: who exactly is Stallone’s core audience these days? Perhaps Hollywood should pay attention to the numbers: Get Carter (2000). Budget: $40M, Domestic Gross: $14.9M. Driven (2001). Budget: $72M, Domestic Gross: $32.6M. D-Tox (2002). Budget: $55M, Opening Weekend: $32,300. Shade (2003). Budget: $6.8M, Domestic Gross: $25,032. And those are four of the last five films featuring Stallone in the star role. (The IMDB has scant BO biz on Avenging Angelo.) In other words, it is…read more