I’ve just learned that the Terre Haute bloggers are now planning a six-week symposium entitled How to Discourage Reading Through Soporific Lectures. They are currently lining up speakers. If you are a bland individual who has not laughed once in the past six years or you think jellybeans are extraneous or you think people should read their books in the same manner in which they are prescribed Brussels sprouts for dinner, please let them know. They are hoping to find the most boring and ponderous people for their lecture series. Bonus points if you ain’t gettin’ any. (And it also appears that a symposium on nose picking is also in the works. These are exciting times!)
Apparently, books strike fear in the prison system. Or maybe thye’re afraid that the convicts will become too smart. Never mind that the prison-industrial complex is allegedly supposed to rehabilitate. (Why else refer to them as penitentiaries or correctional institutions?) It’s worth observing that a little known piece of California progressivism, put into action by San Quentin librarian Herman Sopector, called bibliotherapy enabled Eldridge Cleaver to write Soul on Ice. I first learned about all this when reading Joseph T. Hallinan’s excellent book, Going Up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation. For furtherreading on the subject, check out Eric Cummins’ The Rise and Fall of California’s Radical Prison Movement. (Recent news via Quill & Quire)
Carolyn Kellogg is now a teacher! I hope we get some long-form teaching narratives soon.
Jane Austen’s latter years will be the subject of a new BBC drama. In fact, there are now so many dramas covering so many years of Jane Austen’s life that the producers of Teletubbies are also contemplating a drama. The new project, It is a Perambulator Universally Acknowledged, will cover Austen’s existence between one and three years old.