Armistice-Challenged Roundup

The ongoing massacre in Fallujah and the nomination of Alberto Gonzales (who once declared the Geneva Conventions “obsolete”) as attorney general are enough to hinder any self-respecting humanist from smiling. But I’ll try nonetheless to offer a literary roundup on this most ironic of Veteran’s Days.

  • The first of two major reports on the Paris Review archive is now up. Laura Miller is expected to offer a writeup in an upcoming issue of the NYTBR.
  • A rare collection of Coleridge’s poetry has been saved by Lottery funding in the UK. The collection is now on display in Cumbria.
  • In other archival news, the world’s best-selling romance novelist Barbara Cartland will live on after her death. 160 of her unpublished novels will be released to the Internet over the next 13 years. Amazingly, none of them have any sex and all will have happy endings. There may, however, be kissing and frequent brushes of the hair and possibly “a nibble on a nipple or two.”
  • Duke University (based in North Carolina) weighs in on Wolfe’s latest. While “DuPont” University appears to be modeled after Duke, Chrissie Gorman notes that Wolfe never bothered to show up there during his research.
  • The tireless Ron Hogan has been interviewing the National Book Award fiction nominees. Meanwhile, the New York Times continues its baffling assault on the nominations, claiming now that the books are too short and that not one of them has a sense of humor. Well, by that criteria, maybe we better toss our copies of The Stranger, Desperate Characters and Hunger into the rubbish bin.
  • The castle that inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula is going to be turned into holiday homes. The Van Helsing Suite will have a jacuzzi, a minibar, and a valet who will frequently stop into bite guests on request. Happy hour will feature affordably priced bloody Marys.
  • Nicholas Spark is ponying up the dough to renovate a high school track in his hometown. The track will be called Running in a Bottle. Runners will be required to sprint around the track for fifty years until either love or Alzheimer’s strikes first.
  • And Maud has an interview with Josh Melrod up, concentrating upon literary magazine launching (and perhaps lunching).


  1. My understanding from some well-placed Duke sources is that Wolfe did indeed go there and take copious notes while visiting his daughter. His failure to acknowledge that I take to mean that the resemblances are so obvious that he chose to be coy. Or is that “McCoy?”

  2. Caryn James castigating the NAB finalists for lacking humor. Now Caryn is smart cookie but no one ever accused her of being Mel Brooks or Richard Pryor, if you catch my drift.

  3. Hmm. Wonder if the Barbara Catland misspelling was a typo or intentional, perhaps a trawl for pedantic twits or even a commentary on the eminent Brit’s oeuvre/genre?

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