Roundup

  • I read Sam Tanenhaus’s atrocious article and withheld comment. Conveniently elided it from my memory. It was not the work of a passionate reader. It was the work of a man who believes he has something to say about literature, but who must bang out a piece in five hours while overseeing two sections of a newspaper to prove that he is a “writer” by way of being published in the New York Times. But Jeff is right to call bullshit on this piece. Because Jujitsu for Christ blows A Streetcar Named Desire out of the water with its indelible description of summer heat. (And let’s face the facts. The weather was only a tertiary component to the more explicit issues of lust and frigidity running rampant throughout the play. Then again, as fucked up visceral playwrights go, I’ll take Edward Albee over Williams any day. So perhaps some tendentious sensibilities may be impairing my take here.)
  • Clay Felker has died.
  • “Literary agent” Barbara Bauer, Ph.D. has had enough. She’s now suing 19 bloggers and websites, including Wikipedia and the SFWA site, for writing critical things about her, which she seems to have misconstrued as defamation. And yet Bauer and her attorney couldn’t be bothered to talk to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. And why sue when you can revert changes or initiate a self-serving edit war? Seems cheaper if you ask me. But then I’m not the one with the Ph.D. Assuming, of course, that Bauer actually has a Ph.D. Her official site is strangely mum about which university actually accredited the doctorate to her. In the meantime, plunge into the experiences others have had with Bauer. That is, if you don’t get a crazy email asking for $1 billion because you used of her name. Incidentally, a search at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office turns up no record for “Barbara Bauer.” As such, Bauer is a person whose actions are open to fair criticism. And if she is indeed charging “processing fees” for reading the work of her “clients,” which is behavior that is commonly associated with the actions of a scam agent, then she is most certainly an agent you should not be dealing with. (via Pinky’s Paperhaus) [UPDATE: The judge has dismissed the Wikimedia portion of Bauer’s lawsuit.]
  • “You can’t be a decent martyr on an empty stomach.” These are certainly words to live by. And I intend to offer this maxim to the next suicide bomber I meet in a bar. (via Occasional Superheroine)
  • Is a war with Iran going to happen?
  • Stephen Burt offers a lengthy but critical essay on Philip K. Dick, suggesting that the Library of America should trot out James Tiptree, Jr. as well. Which, come to think of it, isn’t a bad idea.
  • Congratulations to groom-to-be Levi Asher!
  • By the way, does anyone know why old Newsweek articles from decades ago are now coming up as recent items in Google News? Is Newsweek trying to stack the deck and is Google on the case?
  • The Guardian attempts to track the sources of literary works used for spam email, but ignores the copious Lovecraft that seems to be hitting my junk mail.
  • And I agree with Jeff VanderMeer’s assessment on John Twelve Hawks.
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