Words

Why You Should Read Alison Bechdel’s Old Comic Strip

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“Just as Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series wended its leisurely, funny and warm way through the evolving gay and transgender communities in San Francisco, Dykes to Watch Out For dives deep into a fictional lesbian community, considering the impact of transgender politics, marriage and even the death of independent bookstores on her characters. … Did I mention that the strip is fabulous, funny reading?”

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Canada’s Prestigious Giller Prize Doubles To $140,000

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“Founder Jack Rabinovitch announced Tuesday that the Scotiabank Giller Prize is now worth $140,000. The winner will get $100,000 and the other four finalists $10,000. It represents a doubling of the prize and makes it the highest payout for a literary prize in Canada, richer even than Britain’s Man Booker Prize of 50,000 pounds (about $89,000 Canadian).”

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Martin Amis’s Latest Book Rejected By German, French Publishers

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“In France, they say they’re puzzled by the humor. In Germany, they say it will be difficult to market. Martin Amis’s latest novel, The Zone of Interest, a satire set in a concentration camp during the Second World War, is having trouble gaining traction in Europe, where his longtime French and German publishers have rejected it.”

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Small Philadelphia Museum Losing Big Maurice Sendak Collection

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“Nearly half a century ago, the Rosenbach Museum and Library began building a relationship with the young author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who very quickly started using [it] as a repository for his original drawings, manuscripts, proofs, and rare editions. Through the years the numbers mounted, and today about 10,000 items of Sendakiana … fill the Rosenbach – the museum’s best calling card with generations that grew up with his books. But now that card is being recalled.”

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Making E-Readers (And E-Books) Poet Friendly

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“Of all the literary genres, poetry has proved the most resistant to digital technology, not for stodgy cultural reasons but for tricky mechanical ones. Most e-readers mangle the line breaks and stanzas that are so crucial to the appearance and rhythm of poetry.”

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The Notorious Million-Word Novel Is Now Finished

Alan Moore

“Comics legend Alan Moore has finished the first draft of his second novel, Jerusalem – and it runs to more than 1m words. His daughter, Leah Moore, made the announcement on Facebook on Tuesday, adding with a wink that ‘now there’s just the small matter of copy editing’.”

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Apple Sued By Its Own Shareholders Over Ebook Price-Fixing Fiasco

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“According to a complaint filed on Thursday in California state court, [CEO Tim] Cook and other senior Apple figures bear ‘responsibility for ensnaring Apple in a multi-year anticompetitive scheme’ that resulted in a highly-publicized trial and a proposed $450 million payout … The shareholders claim that Cook and others … breached their fiduciary duty to the company and engaged in ‘waste of corporate assets’.”

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Save The Footnote!

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Nathan Heller: “Online, explicit source citation tends to be redundant: you don’t need notes, because, ideally, you can click to an original source. In this context, the removal of back matter makes some kind of sense. But publishers aren’t taking endnotes off the Web. They’re putting them on the Web. Instead, back matter is starting to vanish from books, the one place where it’s still very much needed.”

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Some French Bookstores Refuse To Stock Tell-All By President’s Ex-Wife

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“As Merci Pour Ce Moment (Thank You For This Moment) hit the bookshelves last week, signs appeared in some bookshop windows across the country to explain to readers why they wouldn’t find Valérie Trierweiler’s opus in store. ‘This bookstore doesn’t aspire to be a washing machine for Madame Trierweiler’s dirty laundry,’ one read.”

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Reading Insecurity: Has The Internet Really Killed Our Ability To Deal With Long Things Like Books?

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“Maybe we’ve sensed that we rely on physical cues to ground ourselves in complex arguments, and that we get more of those from books than from flickering screens. … And after centuries of vaunting the solidity of written language, there’s a kind of whiplash in signing on and watching our literary output swoosh by. … Yet the Web giveth, even as it taketh away.”

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How Do You Rhyme In Sign Language?

rhyme sign language

“Since rhyme is based on the repetition of portions of words, the portions of words that get repeated don’t necessarily have to be sounds. They could also be movement, hand shape, location, palm orientation, or other components of signs.” (Includes video clips and a bonus: “finger fumblers”, the sign-language equivalent of tongue twisters.)

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Whatever Happened To The Poets Of Protest?

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“Could it be that modern poetry has lost its vibrancy? I ask: has poetry ceased to penetrate our national consciousness because we are no longer stirred by what’s being said? When was the last time a poet made enough noise to be threatened with censorship?”

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