- Hitotoki, which merges fiction with a Google Maps-like interface, has unveiled a Paris version. This website seems to me a more purposeful use of location than the steady stream of middling noir books (Wichita Noir! Peoria Noir!) from Akashic, where rough and tough regional voices who have gritty things to say about the cities they know have been overlooked by “literary” names who not only lack a feel and understanding for these locations, but who are not familiar with the most elementary components of genre. Then again, when one considers the collective hubris of Johnny Temple, a snotty dunderhead more resembling Bernard Black than Frank Black who wears the constant look of a man incapable of balancing his checkbook, and Johanna Ingalls, a dour and humorless shrew as ungrateful as a Williamsburg hipster, one is not surprised by this onslaught of mediocrity. Oh well. At least this insufferable duo publishes Elizabeth Crane and Joe Meno. Too bad they can’t be bothered to maintain the most elementary professionalism, which one finds from smarter indie houses.
- Now wait just a minute here! We’re not supposed to speak ill of the indies! The indies represent a true alternative to the corporate oligarchy that controls the publishing industry. Well, yes and no. Let us not forget that the publishing industry is a business, and that indies need to generate revenue just as much as the majors. Recall the AMS bankruptcy snafu of early 2007. The indie publishers did not control the cards. The distributor did. Indeed, AMS was unable to pay monies due to many of the publishers. Books in production had to be repackaged so that the books could sell. And while Jonathan Karp was forced to confess that indies have access to the same resources as the big boys, and that non-generic books were the wave of the future, the ability of major publishers to distribute books far and wide that keeps them ahead of the game. And the indie reliance on tenuous distribution might just have an effect sometimes on their ostensible iconoclasm. One must not necessarily judge a book by its publisher, for all publishers are beholden to the invisible thumb.
- One can have no privacy on Twitter anymore. When big publishers begin to follow your ostensibly “private” thoughts and little personal asides, the time has come to abandon Twitter. So no mas for me! It was fun while it lasted though!
- Jules Feiffer interviewed at The Onion. (via Bookshelves of Doom)
- What a load of fucking nonsense. One of the thing that distinguishes “fucking” as an adverb (and you’ll get no asterisks here from me in discussing the words; I trust readers to be adult — well, mostly adult — about cunning lingua franca) is the magical manner that it stands out without that “-ly” (in Middle English, it was “-lich(e)”) just before a modifier. English speakers, recognizing the innate dissonance of of “fucking” and “ly,” rejected “fucking”‘s deployment in our vernacular as a typical adjective converted to an adverb. Perhaps because “fucking” serves as a kind of spoken forbidden fruit, there was some compulsion to make it slightly idiosyncratic. Roy F. (“Fucking” or “Fuckingly?”) Baumeister misses the important fact that the English language is often quite flexible about converted adverbs. We can use adjectives like “slow” or “quick” and say or write that we “drove slow” or “drove slowly.” Both are acceptable adverbs and both are, suffice to say, without suffixes! Indeed, Baumeister is so unimaginative about adverbs that he hasn’t even considered the more intriguing “fuckwise” as an adverb: “fuck” as a noun and the suffix “-wise.” “Fuckwise ridiculous” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but it’s certainly more interesting than “fuckingly ridiculous.” But maybe there’s an adverbial application for “fuckwise” at the end of a sentence. “I was in a fucking huff” is okay. But “I was in a huff fuckwise” does not. Perhaps one should accept no substitute for “fucking.” Nevertheless, I will attempt to find usage for “fuckwise” in future posts.
© 2008, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.