Words

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

Apple's Latest iPhone Models Go On Sale Across U.S.

“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?

reading insecurity

“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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Here’s One Famous Writer Who’s Very Happy With Amazon (And Pleased To Say So In Print)

amazon neak pollack

Neal Pollack: “When I waded into one conversation to say, ‘Hey, Amazon’s not so bad,’ someone referred to me as being like ‘the Vichy French, taking money to cover up crimes.’ What in the name of Bezos is going on here? There are obviously a lot of issues at play … But while everyone seems to hate Amazon, my personal experience with this supposedly evil corporate behemoth has been fantastic.”

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Books In Translation Don’t Sell? That’s A Canard

name of the rose

“Books in translation do sell, and at bestseller levels … The Name of the Rose sold. Smilla’s Sense of Snow sold. The Elegance of the Hedgehog sold. Suite Française sold. It seems, in fact, fair to expect that every couple of years will bring a bestseller in translation, and the more worthwhile question to consider is not whether books in translation sell, but whether those bestsellers are predictable, whether there are cycles, and in that context, whether the present moment is exceptional.”

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“The 20th Century’s Most Important Writer” (Don’t Be Afraid)

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“Reading the work of Jorge Luís Borges for the first time is like discovering a new letter in the alphabet, or a new note in the musical scale.” Jane Ciabattari explains why she thinks everyone should read him (and not worry that his work might be “difficult”).

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Mafioso Memoir Wins Sicilian Book Prize; Outrage Ensues

mafioso memoir

Malerba, a book which recounts the life, crimes and education of Giuseppe Grassonelli – an erstwhile ‘savage criminal’ by his own admission – emerged triumphant in this year’s [Leonardo] Sciascia-Racalmare prize on Sunday” – defeating a book by the daughter of a judge who was assassinated for pursuing the Mafia.

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Public Libraries Mixing New “Secret Sauce” To Get Patrons Through The Door

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“A survey by John Burke at Miami University found that 109 libraries in the US had a makerspace or were close to opening one. Others are hosting events like Wikipedia edit-a-thons, where residents plumb the library’s resources to create articles about local history. (One library even has its own farm.) This ferment is attracting patrons; a Pew Internet survey found that these new modes bring in folks who normally shun libraries, typically men and people with limited education.”

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