• Best headline of the week: Incest dungeon teen wants to see ocean. Sunday afternoon picnics and long walks in the park are swell too.
  • Amardeep Singh offers a report of Salman Rushdie at the New York Google audiences. Mr. Rushdie, who has refused interview requests for The Bat Segundo Show for his last two novels (no fault of the publicists here, I should note, but it’s safe to say that Mr. Rushdie will not be asked a third time; there are easily ten million more things that I would rather do than massage an author’s fragile ego), nevertheless believes in the Internet, which he used for his research. But he apparently doesn’t believe in the Internet enough to sign on for the Google Books project, which “could destroy the publishing industry.” Of course, he’s happy to sign on for Google Books if the authors are fairly compensated for their work. So the upshot is this: if the Internet (or anything for that matter) serves Mr. Rushdie’s purpose, well then it’s all fine and dandy for Mr. Rushdie! For in Mr. Rushdie’s head, it’s all about Mr. Rushdie all the time! (And has Rushdie ever spared a thought for Hitoshi Igarashi, who was knifed to death for translating The Satanic Verses? Or the British taxpayers who paid his £10 million tax bill to provide security for him?) Is there a single brain cell in Mr. Rushdie’s noggin devoted to another person in the universe? Is his talent worth enduring his solipsism? I think not. There are cutthroat lawyers I know with more empathy.
  • And speaking of the positive relationship between online access and book sales, what do we have here? (via Booksquare)
  • Edward Albee at 80: still full of piss and vinegar. (via Books, Inq.)
  • What the hell is going on at the Observer? It appears the paper has been filling up its pages with Livejournal entries written by cynical singles. What next? The print equivalent of live-blogging the season finale for some major television show? I’ve complained long and loud about the vapid articles within the New York Times Sunday Styles section, but the Observer now makes the Gray Lady look like a depository for Kenneth Tynan-style sophistication.
  • Jeff observes that the Atlantic is also going downhill.
  • Borges and Chesterton! A link to many other links, which will get you very pleasantly lost indeed.
  • Here’s a 6,500 word essay that can best be summarized as follows: Goddam you, Giller Awards! (via Quill & Quire)
  • Jamelah Earle offers an empirical reading survey, complete with hand-drawn graphs.
  • Catherine Breillat + Jules-Amedee Barbey d’Aurevilly + Asia Argento. This could either be a really brilliant or a really terrible combination. And apparently, it was a troubled production.
  • As Orthofer points out, the IMPAC winner will be announced sometime today.
  • Benjamin Lytal on a BS Johnson reissue.
  • Finally, last but not least, Maud Newton’s award-winning Narrative essay is now up, and it’s a brave and unflinching essay that may be one of the best short pieces I’ve read this year.


  1. Alex Good’s essay describes perfectly why just thinking about reading the established authors of “CanLit” bores me.

    He should follow up that piece with Canadian-written novels that should have been considered the best of the year.

  2. How is believing in the internet as a tool for research but not as a vessel for additional Google ad dollars a hypocritical stance? I don’t see any connection there at all.

  3. Newton’s essay was one of the best short pieces you’ve read all year? Have you only read GQ this year or something?

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