• Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The Shadow knows!
  • So if I understand Sarah’s post correctly, James Wood and sheepshagging jokes represent a new kind of nonoverlapping magisteria, and someone needs to start uploading racy photos of James Wood in lewd positions at Cabo San Lucas damn pronto. Also, Mark Sarvas has read How Fiction Works six times. And that was just in the last week. It remains unknown just how many times James Wood has read himself. But all this talk of how one should read James Wood, and whether one should read James Wood, and how frequently one should read James Wood makes me wonder why nobody is actually responding to what James Wood has to say about books. To add further confusion, James Wood is also leaving comments at Vulture. I can only conclude that all this is a grand ruse to get James Wood on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, perhaps accompanied by Stephenie Meyer and two naked Dixie Chicks with post-structuralist buzz words printed on their naked bodies.
  • Tao Lin has posted some details on his second novel. And if he’s concerned about The Easter Parade being 54,000 words, consider also that The Great Gatsby is only around 50,000 words and would therefore fall into Tao’s organic cold-brewed iced coffee category. (As Shane observes, Tao’s post has been deleted.)
  • John Fox sings the praises of Small Beer Press, but neglects to inform us just how much beer he imbibed before writing his post.
  • Colleen collects a number of interesting reactions concerning class and YA literature.
  • Scott has a few ideas on where litblogs need to go in the face of declining newspapers.
  • Wyatt Mason talks with Adam Thirlwell. (via Orthofer)
  • Superhero motifs and book design. (via Slushpile)
  • The Watchmen trailer appearing with The Dark Knight has caused sales of the graphic novel to jump. But the Moore-Batman association is also boosting sales of Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke. What is the lesson to be learned here? Appearances of books on film and television (such as placing The Third Policeman on Lost) do help. But I believe these books sold because (a) the movie trailer is considered a respectful and relatively noninvasive form of advertising and (b) Lost, being a television show with numerous references, has led numerous fans to ferret out the meaning by any means necessary. In other words, it isn’t just the appearance of a writer’s name or a book that moves books. It’s the context. The way that a book’s appearance and relationship with the present material inspires curiosity on the part of the reader. The way that the context itself doesn’t treat audience members like morons or a generalized 18-34 demographic.
  • Speaking of which, Douglas McLennan has some interesting things to say on this topic. (via Dan Green)
  • According to Forbes, J.K. Rowling has been named the richest celebrity. And it’s certainly promising to learn that an author can trump a number of idiot actors. Sorry, Tom Cruise. Guess you’ll have to expand your dynamic potential through that Ponzi scam masquerading as a cult.
  • And I missed the news a few weeks ago, but Solzhenitsyn’s The First Circle is at long last coming out in English.

One Comment

  1. Regarding Mr. Wood, and the various reactions to his book’s release, can I simply say I’m somewhat astonished that many folks are treating his identification of “free indirect style” as some sort of revelation (I’m quite shocked to read about profs at Columbia, Iowa, etc., starting to use it, apparently for the first time), while from my perspective it’s really just the first time someone’s given it a name.

    Not to toot my own horn, but this technique struck me as somewhat evident in many of the most popular writers one is likely to encounter in any M.F.A. program (as I did). In other words, anyone who sets to studying/analyzing fiction in attempt to do it well.

    Reading some of the reviews/stories about Mr. Wood’s book reminded me of my own “revelation” to this very idea; it took me a day or so to remember exactly what I’d identified it in, and it came to me recently. From Chekhov’s (no surprise) “The Lady with the Dog”:

    “A man walked up to them — probably a keeper — looked at them and walked away.”

    I guess the funny thing to me is that I assumed anyone who actually taught writing would be teaching this to his or her students already.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *