Words

Hemingway for Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton’s Flash Fiction Ads

hemingway for hotels

“It could almost be a writing workshop prompt: tell a story, do it in six words, go for the wow effect – and that’s exactly what the Ritz-Carlton wants. Recently, the hotel company launched a campaign inviting social media friends and followers to provide six-word stories about their Ritz-Carlton experiences with the hashtag #RCMemories.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Pulp Thrillers In Egypt And The State Of The Egyptian Nation

egyptian pulp

“The golden age of illicit crime fiction translation – from the 1890s through the 1960s – corresponds to the construction of the Egyptian nation, from colonial rule and monarchy to President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalization project. … And now, as authorities attempt to restore law and order, the crime genre is making a comeback.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Sympathy For The Devil: Laura Miller Feels Bad For Amazon, Sort Of

Earns Radio Shack

“Lately Amazon has become the Goofus of publishing news, the surly, inconsiderate and gauche kid who never seems to get anything right. … Its pronouncements come in Amazonspeak, a language bred in a corporate echo chamber and the cheerleading threads of its self-publisher forums.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

“Urlo” – Translating Ginsberg’s “Howl” Into Italian

ginsberg

“In their letters, Ginsberg answers [the translator's] questions about ‘Kaddish’ and other poems, describing his mother’s ‘paranoiac complaints … used as surreal fragments’; defining cultural references (‘Woody Woodpecker is an allied cartoon character, hero of a series of cartoon disasters in technicolor’); explaining how ‘the LSD poem’ was ‘written at Stanford’s Mental Health Experimental Lab’.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

A Place Beyond Words: The Literature Of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimers

“As baby boomers approach their seventies and Alzheimer’s disease becomes increasingly commonplace, more and more fiction writers are attempting to reach into that obscure space. … Because the full, internal experience of Alzheimer’s is an account that fiction alone can deliver, … [this is a good time] to reassess the burgeoning genre and determine what its writers can and can’t tell us.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

What We Fear Now

570_thriller

“During the Cold War, the conflicts that powered the thriller were rooted in ideology: Le Carre’s Berlin and Greene’s Havana were mainly backdrops against which the clash of the superpowers was played out. The new thrillers were not focused on ideology but on place; it was the peeling away of layers of culture and history that gave these novels their impetus.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Salman Rushdie Explains Why Kazuo Ishigoro’s ‘Remains Of The Day’ Is Such A Perfect Novel

rushdie3

“What then is our true relationship to power? Are we its servants or its possessors? It is the rare achievement of Ishiguro’s novel to pose Big Questions – What is Englishness? What is greatness? What is dignity? – with a delicacy and humour that do not obscure the tough-mindedness beneath.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

The Bookmobile Taxi Of Tehran

bookmobile taxi

Mehdi Yazdany and Sarvenaz Heraner are no ordinary cabbies: they offer “a mobile reading room and taxi service, complete with chauffeur-librarian.” The cab has more than 40 titles, “from Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis to Charles Bukowski’s Pulp. There are also works by Iranian standouts such as Nader Ebrahimi, Zoya Pirzad and Sohrab Sepehri. … When you pay the fare, you can buy a book.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Amazon Vs. Hachette: What Would Orwell Really Think?

amazon logo with kindle

George Packer: “Amazon has its own corporate lexicon, its own uses of language. Warehouses are ‘fulfillment centers,’ algorithmic recommendations are ‘personalization.’ I won’t call it Orwellian, because that poor, much-abused term should be reserved for special occasions, like North Korea. But it’s a style conducive to cheerful deception, and Orwell would have seen straight through it.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Why Should Some Books Be “Guilty Pleasures” And Others Considered Like Spinach?

reading guilty pleasure

Rebecca Mead: “The distinction partakes of a debased cultural Puritanism, which insists that the only fun to be had with a book is the frivolous kind, or that it’s necessarily a pleasure to read something accessible and easy … [or] that literary works, especially those not written last year, are placed at the opposite pole to fun.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Penguin Defends “Creepy” Cover Of “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory”

dahl book cover

“Members of the public reacted angrily when the new edition – part of the Penguin Modern Classics range – was revealed [last] Wednesday. The cover was deemed ‘misleading’ and ‘creepy’. Author Giles Paley-Phillips said it looked ‘more like Lolita‘. But Penguin said it stressed ‘the light and the dark aspects’ of Dahl’s work.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

A Brief History Of Inappropriately Invoking George Orwell

orwell NSA

“In view of Amazon’s hilarious misappropriation of an Orwell quote in its ongoing battle with Hachette, it might be more fun to take a look at a few of the many times in recent memory when Orwell’s memory has been used and abused … but watch out for Big Brother.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Publisher Of Harper’s Stands Firm In Defense Of Online Paywall And Dead-Tree Magazine

HARPERS2-articleLarge

When a group of young people demanded that John R. MacArthur make Harper’s available for free online, “what he told them was ‘essentially, forget it.’ The web, to him, ‘wasn’t much more than a gigantic Xerox machine’ designed to rob publishers and writers. He was mocked as neo-Luddite. But the fight only hardened his convictions, which are reflected monthly in his magazine.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Hachette CEO’s Response To Amazon’s Email Campaign: Why We Price Books The Way We Do

hachette ceo

“Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch has received ‘a few emails’ in response to a call earlier this weekend by Amazon to contact the executive, demanding he and his company give in to the retailer’s demands for lower ebook prices. In response to those emails, Pietsch is sending the below note.” [full text provided]

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Hachette’s Plan To Buy Perseus Books Group Falls Through

perseus

“Although no one would comment on the particulars, Perseus’s unique position in the book world could have made valuing the company difficult, especially the company’s distribution arm; there has not been a major sale of a distributor since the beginning of the digital book age.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter