Wickett Rejuvenated

The erstwhile Mr. Wickett has returned from vacation and, once again, he’s demonstrated to the world that he has the stamina of ten men. (Might he be a literary Hercules? Well, who is to say? All we know is that the world is a better a place with Dan Wickett.) Wickett has served up another panel of literary journal editors, featuring the heads of the New Orleans Review, the Colorado Review, A Flasher’s Dozen, The Laurel Review, Thieves Jargon, and The Harvard Review.

Round the Sphere

Quick Roundup

  • We’re very sorry to learn that George Fasel of A Girl and a Gun has passed away. Our condolences to his friends and family.
  • Dan Wickett talks with more literary journal editors. At this rate, Mr. Wickett will have chatted with everyone in the literary world by June 2006.
  • Bad Librarian’s chronicles continue, with remarks on the Patriot Act and a shocking personal revelation.
  • Amazon will begin offering short story downloads. The stories will be 49 cents a pop. Presumably, each user who signs up for this service will have every known purchasing histroy detail logged and will be recommended tales that have nothing whatsoever to do with their literary interests. (Example: If you liked “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” you might like “The Snows of Central Park West” by Bret Easton Ellis.)
  • You have to love the way some folks jump to conclusions. The speculation continues with this latest press release (PDF) now making the rounds. The APA is now calling for the video game industry to reduce violence. Even if we accept the idea that video game violence is a major influence upon patterned behavior (and the resolution itself corrals this in with several other studies relating to “the media,” rather than “video games” explicitly), it apparently hasn’t occurred to these psychiatrists that parents might be the ones responsible for exposing their children to violent content and that the choice is theirs. As much as I would welcome the idea of preventing McDonald’s from operating, you wouldn’t, for example, see the AMA demand that the fast food industry stop selling hamburgers.

The “We Battled Insomnia with Gin Last Night and the Gin Won, But Heaven Help the Fallout” Roundup

  • The fantastic Carrie Frye points to the Word Nerds, a podcast devoted to “the effect of Internet communication” and various language-related issues. I’ll definitely be checking it out, as soon as I finally finish the next installment of my own damn podcast.
  • So according to the Associated Press, the book world “is still searching for this year’s great American novel,” eh? There are endless ways that I can answer this, but for now I’ll point again to Lee Martin’s The Bright Forever and Kirby Gann’s Our Napoleon in Rags as two books that I’ve enjoyed very much this year and, in my view, do indeed cut the mustard. Perhaps the key here is to stop thinking about the big boys and dare to delve into the little ones.
  • Dan Wickett doesn’t read Playboy for the pictures or the articles. No, sir, he’s reading it for the literature. I knew about the four-bunny system for books, because I actually had a Playboy subscription at the age of sixteen, in which I would secretly run to the mailbox and grab the latest issue covered in black plastic. (Remind me sometime to tell you the tale of what happened when I was finally caught and how I talked my way out of it.) The nice thing about this was that it allowed me to outgrow a reliance upon visual prurience and apply my perverted sentiments to everyday discourse without shame and of course evolve my unabated interest in breasts. But if the likes of Robert Coover can be found within Playboy‘s pages, then I may have to pick up a subscription. I have to wonder, however, if Mr. Wickett is secretly on Hefner’s payroll.
  • Dubya actually reads serious books? Apparently, some of the books that he’s taken on a five-week summer sojurn are Mark Kurlansky’s Salt: A World History, Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar (which seems peculiarly apt) and John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza.
  • The Gothamist talks with Foop! author Chris Genoa.
  • Another celebrity reading slacker: Noel Gallagher, who only just started reading fiction with Angels and Demons (“my first ever book. Believe it or not, it is.”). In the same article, Hester Lacey suggests that to dismiss someone who hasn’t read “seems both sweeping and snobbish.” Oh come on, Hester. We’re talking Dan Brown here. If Victoria Beckham has not even read Green Eggs and Ham, should her raison d’etre not be suspect?
  • The new China Miéville short story collection, Looking for Jake, gets an early look at SFF World.
  • What the hell was I thinking with the gin? Head hurts. More later.

The “I’ve Got Tedious Meetings But Here’s a Quick” Roundup

The “We Were Too Sluggish From Tuesday Night’s Festivities” Roundup

  • Robert “Two Sheds” Birnbaum is at it again. This time, he talks with Camille Paglia. The real question here is whether Camille was ever confused for a pirate incarnation of Princess Leia.
  • The Tireless Dan Wickett is now talking with publicists as part of his latest panel series. We suspect that Mr. Wickett will be interviewing some of the people in the warehouse before the year is up.
  • We could honestly care less about the Quills Awards, largely because Nick Hornby and Sue Monk Kidd should not be encouraged any further. But if you care, the nonsense can be found here.
  • A new symposium will compare Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics with Walt Whitman and Samuel Beckett.
  • Apparently, The Almond: The Sexual Awakening of a Muslim Woman is, according to the Daily Star, “no more original than that of the film 9 1/2 Weeks, without the soundtrack to keep it going.”
  • Yo, Book Babes, it’s Epileptic, not Epilepsy.
  • A sketch of Ted Hughes drawn by Sylvia Plath is up for auction this fall.