First off, there are two stories pertaining to the Los Angeles Times. After the Martinez fiasco, the Times has decided not to rely upon guest editors. This is a pity, because I was really looking forward to Uwe Boll guest editing the opinion section, offering his thoughts on why film critics are more evil than investment bankers and why violence (specifically boxing) is the only possible response to detractors. And the LATBR has, as previously reported, merged its section with the Sunday opinion section. That’s Sunday instead of Saturday, which means that Sunday morning routines won’t shift nearly as much as loyal Times subscribers feared. There will apparently be more book reviews throughout the paper, as well as heightened Web coverage. So it appears to be more of a general journalistic shift rather than a complete capitulation. And I’ll reserve judgment on all this when I see the results. (First link via Callie)
Regrettably, due to diabolical sleet and snow plaguing the East Coast a few weeks ago, I did not get to talk to John Banville. But Minnesota Public Radio did. The interviewer, I’m sad to report, appears to have not read the book. But Banville is a gracious subject and, as such, the clip is worth your time. He’s also big on Donald Westlake, which should tell you all you need to know. (via Banville Booster Prime)
The Arizona Republic talks with Max Barry, who confesses that his current reading is a transcript of a Raiders of the Lost Ark story conference. I’ve heard stories about this meeting between Kasdan, Spielberg and Lucas, but I had no idea that such a transcript existed. A Google search has proved fruitless. So perhaps it’s one of those documents one must locate in the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Sasha Frere-Jones on Against the Day: “It’s the Columbine teen in him, the voice saying, ‘Everyone is a philistine! Nobody understands REAL writing!’ and urging him on to all his drastic signification and tortured plotting. I take no pleasure in being defeated by Pynchon, and I don’t think he’s full of hot air; I just think we have very different pleasure principles.”
The problem isn’t that bloggers are stealing from other bloggers, it’s that people have been blogging for several thousand years now, and blogging in earnest for several hundred years, and at this point in time we’ve just run out of original stuff. Our collective unconscious has to recycle old ideas and find new links because we’ve used up all the fresh ones. Basically, it’s summer reruns for the mind. And it all means a better Technorati ranking and plagiarism to boot.
George Murray is launching a book of poetry! He plans to use an ancient catapult, well-oiled by many of his Bookninja minions, to eject his tome into a magically airborne parabolic arc, where it will land on a random Canadian’s laundry lines and the resultant collision will bring forth protracted litigation that will leave Mr. Murray a broken and financially crippled man. Nevertheless, a big congrats to Mr. Murray.
Another excerpt from On Chesil Beach. If you missed the New Yorker excerpt in December, read here. Given that the book is a mere 176 pages, at the current rate of excerpt releases, we should have the entire book online before pub date.
Open questions to the Typepad Virtual Book Tour people: Outside of free books, do you remunerate your participants? Or do you still expect them to pay the $4.95/month for the privilege of devoting their blog to book shilling? A form of shilling, I might add, that Six Apart is profiting from. Look, if you’re going to shill, shouldn’t you be disseminating the monies, not just a copy of the book, which any Jane Friday reviewer can request of her own accord? Paid content is one thing, but when there is no clear separation between content and advertising, and when the bloggers, in turn, are still paying their monthly Typepad dues on top of any shilling, it strikes me as unethical and quite exploitative.
Regarding yesterday, I hereby propose that the sentence, “I don’t like Mondays,” be removed from everyday discourse.
Derik Badman continues his ongoing examination of comics, unfurling a close study of the first page of Jaime Hernandez’s “Files on the Ceiling.” Derik, for the love of comics, please get a book deal. This is the kind of analysis that will help people to take comics seriously. And it’s been thirteen years since Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. The time is ripe for another consideration.