January 8, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
The American Dialect Society—how do we join?—has voted because the word of the year. They chose because because because “exploded with new grammatical possibilities in informal online use.”
In the Midwest, towns are living without Borders. (The defunct bookstore chain, not the metaphorical limitation.) Some independent bookstores have even cropped up in its place.
How did Reddit’s brilliant AMA series go from geeky to mainstream? (Did you know The Paris Review did one last year?)
“Of course, my definition of evil is not everybody else’s. Evil is being involved in the glamour and charm of material existence, glamour in its old Gaelic sense meaning enchantment with the look of things, rather than the soul of things.” An expansive interview with the singular Kenneth Anger.
May 24, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
Listen to James Salter read (Booker-winning!) Lydia Davis’s “Break It Down.”
We sort of would have assumed this, but apparently it took a Manhattan federal judge to declare that unredeemed Borders gift cards are, in fact, worthless. (Sorry, everyone whose bar and bat mitzvahs I attended!)
Oh dear. Poet David R. Morgan has confessed to multiple instances of plagiarism. (He says he’s “deeply sorry.”)
Meet Rosamunde Pilcher. In her native England, “the eighty-eight-year-old is regarded as a successful, if stylistically limited, writer of romantic novel. In Germany, she is nothing short of a national heroine—Julian Fellowes, Colin Dexter, and Ealing Studios rolled into one. More than one hundred of her love stories, set in Cornwall and Devon, have been turned into television films, all shot on location—but with German actors—and invariably aired on Sunday afternoons.”
“Useless, useless.” —John Wilkes Booth
January 25, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
Should you fancy some of the two-foot letters from the recently disassembled Borders flagship sign, you can bid for them on eBay, with all profits going to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. And as someone who owns an S from an old marquee, I will judge you not at all.
An exhibition of beat-era Allen Ginsberg photographs is on display at Grey Art Gallery. The captions, which read like speedy mini-poems, are the best part.
The Following, a new Fox drama that features—along with Kevin Bacon and many other things—a Poe-obsessed serial killer, is probably no threat to the author’s legacy. However, it’s fun to read the tally of the show’s crimes against literature.
“I haven’t read my rivals because I think it could be a deeply demoralising process,” quoth Hilary Mantel.
Oh, and Judge Dredd might be gay.
January 4, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
Happy Friday. Here are twenty photos of authors whooping it up.
By way of balance, a catalogue of authors’ ailments.
The end of an era: the Borders flagship sign comes down.
In related news, Barnes & Noble reported tepid holiday sales.
“There aren’t any obvious candidates for the Nobel Prize and the prize committee is in an unenviable situation.” The lackluster rationale for Steinbeck’s 1962 win. (Lawrence Durrell, meanwhile, “gives a dubious aftertaste … because of [his] monomaniacal preoccupation with erotic complications.”)
October 5, 2011 | by Sadie Stein
Hans Christian Andersen.
A cultural news roundup.
Odds on the Nobel?
Harry Potter takes his show on the road.
But not his e-book.
The trouble with Amazon.
Bad news for independent bookstores.
And chain bookstores.
In praise of the Farmers’ Almanac.
Hans Christian Andersen to be buried, again.
Volume 12 of Selected Works of Kim Jong-il hits the shelves.
“That American culture could bring forth so relentless a critic is perhaps one of the reasons to still think well of it.”
A visit to southeast London.
Advice for students: “To get an education, you’re probably going to have to fight against the institution that you find yourself in—no matter how prestigious it may be. (In fact, the more prestigious the school, the more you’ll probably have to push.) You can get a terrific education in America now—there are astonishing opportunities at almost every college—but the education will not be presented to you wrapped and bowed. To get it, you’ll need to struggle and strive, to be strong, and occasionally even to piss off some admirable people.”
July 20, 2011 | by Sadie Stein
A cultural news roundup.
An unfinished Jane Austen novel sells at auction for $1.6 million.
The end of Borders.
“Sigmund Freud, cokehead.”
California schoolbooks add the LGBT community.
So do Archie comics.
The rock memoir is huge: can the Thin White Duke (or for that matter Ziggy Stardust) be far behind? Bowie becomes publishers’ “top target.”
“We insist that students touch and smell and shine light through items, and investigate them to understand the book in history, and understand the book as history.”
Entering the publishing world in the digital age.
Longshot Magazine is back.
A Harry Potter plagiarism case bites the dust.
Frederick Seidel on a time before air-conditioning.
A brief history of Pendleton.
Alan Bennett: “I have always been happy in libraries, though without ever being entirely at ease there.”
How to undress a Victorian lady.
If the Paradise Lost adaptation is hell for Milton lovers, call Bradley Cooper the devil.
The NewsCorp scandal: (almost) stranger than fiction.