The Daily

Bulletin

On the Shelf

July 6, 2011 | by

Photograph by Michael Stravato.

A cultural news roundup.

  • Artist Cy Twombly died this week at eighty-three.
  • Newly revealed letters point to the existence of unpublished Salinger manuscripts.
  • People do, in fact, give a damn about an Oxford comma.
  • The best party game of all time gets its due.
  • Hemingway's remains one of the iconic American deaths. He has come close to being remembered as much for his death as for his work, a terrible fate for a writer.”
  • Penguin launches an app.
  • For the first time, documents from the Vatican’s secret archives will go on view.
  • Hang onto those proofs!
  • When they’re good, they're very, very good: the Mobys celebrate the best and worst in book trailers.
  • “You should not have idle hands, you should always be working. All your life.” And other words of wisdom from Chekhov.
  • No rabbits were harmed in the making of As You Like It.
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    1. Joe Carlson | July 7, 2011 at 11:58 am

      “Hemingway’s remains one of the iconic American deaths. He has come close to being remembered as much for his death as for his work, a terrible fate for a writer.”

      Suppose it’s in the vested interests of a writer (schoolteacher, actually) for the web magazine OBIT, specializing in stuff about the big sleep, to make such a ludicrous claim. Good for business, of course. Next month it will be Ms. Rocks-In-Her-Pockets (V. Woolf), month after someone else, and so on. I see the future in my crystal ball: OBIT itself will be resting in peace within two years. There will be no service.

    2. J. Howard Rosier | July 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Ironically, I recently defended the lack of the Oxford comma in journalism on Amazon. Some guy was saying how the lack of one is lousy grammar; I argued that in newspapers it makes sense since the lack of comma–and, subsequently, the lack of a pause–draws the eye down the column quicker, thus serving an efficiency function that newspapers have to maintain.

      But that’s for NEWSPAPERS. Everything else should assume Oxford comma, I think, unless there is a specific rhythm or phrasing you are going for.

    3. Stan | July 8, 2011 at 5:44 am

      I like the Oxford comma, but I’m not devoted to it. Although it tends to clarify, sometimes it introduces or strengthens an ambiguity, which is something you don’t tend to hear about from its more ardent admirers. Different approaches suit different contexts and styles; there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. I wrote about the recent fuss here, for what it’s worth.

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