• It is very possible that Kate Coe has penned the Theresa Duncan article to end all Theresa Duncan articles. Beyond the careful reporting, let us consider the important role of hyperlinks in the online version of this article. Had this been merely a print piece, would these references have been half as helpful? The hyperlink is here to stay. Embrace it. (via Michelle Richmond)
  • Tod Goldberg lays down his rules: “I don’t want to read your self-published novel. Ever. If you’re reading this and thinking, Hey, I see Tod sometimes reviews books places, I wonder if he’d like to review my book? The answer is that I’d rather sit through I Know Who Killed Me covered in fire ants.”
  • So folks, do you have Asperger’s? Who needs some perfunctory summation from an psychological rube when the Web can play this kind of ignoble Asperger’s card for you? Apparently, I’m an “average female scientist.” Which presumably means that I’ll need to work twice as hard to prove that I’m capable, because the world seems to consider me more of a stewardess who should be popping out kids from her uterus than a thinker. (via the Valve)
  • Charles Simic has been named the new U.S. poet laureate. But wait a minute, Simic was born in Yugoslavia! What the hell’s going on? I thought our government specialized in celebrating and maintaining a purebred America! This is hypocrisy! The last thing America needs is one of these goddam Yugoslavians taking away American cultural thunder. Why not simply give the title to a Madison Avenue copywriter? “Born in fire, blown by mouth and cut by hand with heart.” Sheer poetry that keeps this nation going!
  • After reading Julie Phillips’s James Triptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, I have many conclusions. But the one that sticks out the most (which indeed I still possessed even before picking up the Phillips book): Ursula K. Le Guin, hubba hubba! Yowzahs! Rowr! Considerable correspondence between Sheldon and various science fiction writers can be found within the book. But it is Le Guin’s volleys, laden with wit, intelligence, and an irresistable wordplay, that made me swoon. Letter writing may very well be a dying art — something abdicated to the “dats cool” one-sentence truncations of contemporary email. Because of this, I think it’s high time to remind readers that Le Guin is still around and still pumping out interesting books. It’s also high time to remind all emailers to up their game! (More recent news on the literary merits of email here.)
  • Terry Teachout vs. Dan Green.
  • Can I say again just how saddened I am to see Janet Maslin, who was once a sharp film critic, offering such asinine book reviews like this? One would think that after a few years of book reviewing, Maslin would understand that there are these things called legal clearances which often affect decisions in historical fiction and that the critic has to be very careful when dwelling upon authorial intention. But, no, this review saddens me so much with its idiocy that I must walk away, head hunkered down, hoping that the Janet Maslin I read in the ’90’s will return. For the love of letters, Gray Lady, get Maslin away from books and back into the movie theaters, pronto!
  • The funny side of Faulkner. (via Maud)
  • I have not yet written about Stephen Fry’s incredibly fun new book, The Ode Less Travelled, which I cracked open the other day. But see what Levi has to say about it.
  • Derik is now running some experiments on music in comics.
  • Also, I missed this a few weeks ago, but this Ralph Ellison overview is worth a look.


  1. Re the Le Guin link and the comment on email, I think one of the commenters at Gawker (discussing some obscure lit’ry to-do, ignored here and at Sarvas, Maud, Bookslut or any of the major litblogs, involving characters named Dewberry and Butler and Turner) said it best: “Thank God Hemingway never had email.”

  2. If you are indeed the expatriate you say you are, Sgt., then thanks for the grand laugh. I hope you don’t mind if I file my peaceful report today instead of tomorrow.

  3. Re: Coe’s piece about Theresa Duncan, to call it the “article to end all articles” (and to support that assertion by praising its use of hyperlinks) is laughable. The fact that Monica Gesue was accorded with having the “definitive” account of Theresa’s time at Magnet, for one, is a major red flag for me (I worked with them at the time it happened).

    Monica, it should be made clear, is an ex-collaborator of Theresa’s with an axe to grind. She seems to have been waiting for a decade to revise the story after being been jilted by the younger, smarter and more ambitious Duncan. And what better time than now, since Ms. Duncan is not able to answer her false assertions?

    Besides the insidiously vague comment she makes about there being “whispers” about Theresa’s past, her taking credit for coming up with the idea for Chop Suey simply not true. Why didn’t Coe seek out an objective source to dig a little deeper than Gesue’s side of their breakup, such as Magnet’s senior management?

  4. I interviewed several people at Magnet–more than enough to satisfy my editor at the LA Weekly. They all collaborated Gesue’s story, as have others commenting and posting around the internet. I don’t believe that Gesue has an “axe to grind” . She hired a lawyer to send Duncan a cease and desist letter referencing Duncan’s claims in interviews to be the creator of Chop Suey (in one case, she claimed David Sedaris, the narrator, as a collaborator.

    Oddly enough, I’ve not received any emails from any former Magnet staffers or people who’ve worked with Duncan on any projects that disagreed with the printed version of events.

    Personal attacks on Gesue are cowardly.

  5. in what way is Katie Coe’s reporting good? She makes psycho-analytical assessments of Theresa,that she isn’t certified to make,corect me if I am wrong,maybe KAte is an analist-friends of Kates claim her,and claim Kate to have writtein about her friend Theresa-one moment Kte talks about liking Theresa and then says she did not know her well-just enough to pitch it to around as her inside scoop on an event she had no idea would be so expansive-she probably thought of the Staircase as trivial and quaint.
    Personal attacks on Monica are not cowardly-she’s a shrinking violet-in her letter to Raymond I lost rrack of how many times she says to the best of my memory,referring to the events at Magnet. Monica admits she didn’t want to work on Shoo Fly Pie,and she implied the theme to her dumbass seemed racist,but she wasn’t calling Theresa a racist…Monica whines about how at lunch with Theresa and Ian Svenonius Theresa hurt her feelings.
    Katie Coe your new claim to fame is having written about Theresa Duncan,portraying yourself as the insider the friend,at least according to your friends.
    Theresa is everything you are not and everything you will never be-worth talking about,a great person to know-loyal,she never made me sign any agreements-everytime I asked her for anything,it was always yes,yes,yes.
    Why don’t you fucking wirte something that adds to this world instead of throwing water on the

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