April 20, 2010

The News on Tues

There's so much news this week I think I'll have to break it up into sections:

What's Blogging On?
  • I've added a new blog to my blogroll - The Denver Bibliophile, check it out. By the way, if you have a literary-ish blog and feel like you deserve to be added to my highly selective blogroll please let me know. Criteria include insightful writing (e.g. Only Words to Play With),  privileged information on the publishing world (e.g. Editorial Ass), being my awesome and hilarious friend (e.g. Lou Perez), or if none of these apply - giving me free stuff, preferably books (sadly, there are no blogs in this category yet).
  • Which reminds me - you should all read the analysis of Gogol's "The Overcoat" recently posted on Only Words to Play With; I have no words to describe how great it is (which is appropriate, since the post discusses the failure of language).
  • Malcolm Jones of Newsweek claims that the Library of America is running out of good writers to publish. Mark Athitakis believes that the LOA should actually try to make some bolder choices and expand the definition of  the American literary canon. These comments sparked a discussion on A Commonplace Blog, where various commentators offered titles and authors they'd like to see included in the LOA. My two cents - I'd like to see a volume of Malamud's complete short stories (though they were already collected in a single volume by FSG, he deserves to be in the LOA), as well as a volume dedicated to Djuna Barnes, and one for John O'Hara's better works. And if they're still interested in appealing to the Sci-Fi crowd (following the phenomenal success of the three volumes dedicated to Philip K. Dick) why not Ray Bradbury or Thomas M. Disch?
Are you following me?
  • Here it is, finally, what you've all been clamoring for since my post about the David Foster Wallace archives - a complete list of all the words DFW circled in his dictionary.
  • And, perhaps as a response to my Alice in Wonderland post, the British Library has made the complete manuscript of Alice's Adventures Underground, the original version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, available online.
  • A recent Book Bench post on typos, however, probably has nothing to do with my 2log post on the same topic.
Anything else?
  • In The Atlantic Richard Bausch makes a very convincing case against writing manuals.
  • In The New Yorker Ken Auletta asks: "Can the iPad topple the Kindle, and save the book business?"
  • Finally, consider the following appraisal: "A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy." Can you guess which famous American writer said this of another famous American writer? The Examiner offers this and 49 other delightfully wicked author on author put-downs. Reading through the list, you might suddenly feel less guilty about not reading or disliking certain literary greats. However, you might also be disappointed to find out that two of your favorite writers didn't really care for each other. The quote presented above, by the way, was William Faulkner on Mark Twain.
Whew, that's a lot of news...

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