Quick Roundup

  • Some very lengthy cultural reports are coming here soon. But in the meantime…
  • In a move that may infuriate the stodgier reactionaries of our literary community, Ward Sutton has reviewed Indignation in cartoon form. I think this is a good idea. And I think that there are considerably more possibilities that can be employed to shake up coverage. Why not a performance art piece of Joe Queenan writing one of his tedious reviews and punching himself in the face every 150 words (I would pay good money for this), Dale Peck being dragged out of reviewing retirement for another “hatchet job” that has Peck slaughtering an animal and fingerpainting his review using the animal’s blood, or the book reviewing equivalent to Gregory Corso’s “Bomb?” You folks at the Voice ain’t going far enough in my view. (via Ortohofer)
  • Joanne McNeil has a thoughtful take on the Jill Greenberg controversy.
  • Lost in the DFW coverage: the needlessly early death of poet Reginald Shepherd.
  • More DFW tributes at McSweeney’s.
  • Jennifer Weiner rightly calls out the cocky quacks at the NYTBR for failing to come up with a “funniest novel” by a woman. This, of course, means sleighting Kate Atkinson (I confess that I have stolen a few fiction tricks from her), Margaret Atwood, Elaine Dundy, Kyril Bonfiglioli — just a few funny women who come to mind. How long will the supposed gatekeepers keep clinging to this sexist generalization? I mean, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you that all the men employed by the New York Times have smaller penises than all other men now, would you?
  • And the only thing surprising about this attempt to cash in on Douglas Adams is that those responsible didn’t rape Adams’s corpse when it was still warm. Douglas Adams was a true original. Accept no substitute.


  1. For some reason, the Douglas Adams story fills me with an unreasonable rage, even though I’ve read Colfer’s work and liked it. Perhaps because, after the first two books, Douglas Adams wasn’t Douglas Adams, and that the “series” really wasn’t much of a series after all.

    If they really wanted to do this right (if it had to be done right at all), they would hold an open contest to let anybody write the book, then select the best bits and mash them up. That would be more in spirit with Adams’ love of computers, the power of harnessing multiple minds via the Internet, and the sheer humorous chaos that would result.

  2. I’m open to being corrected – or mocked if I’ve missed some joke – but I’m pretty sure that Kyril Bonfiglioli was a bloke.

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