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May 21, 2013
Tweet Stokes Speculation About Nobel Lit Nominations
"Speculation about the shortlist began almost at once, even though the winner of this year's Nobel prize in literature won't be announced until October. 195 names were submitted in March for consideration, including 48 first-timers."
The Telegraph (UK) 05/22/13
Stephen King Passes On E-Publishing For Print
"I have no plans for a digital version. Maybe at some point, but in the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one."
The Telegraph (UK) 05/21/13
Wole Soyinka Says Chinua Achebe Was Not The Father Of African Literature
"As you yourself have observed, Chinua himself repudiated such a tag - he did study literature after all, bagged a degree in the subject. So, it is a tag of either literary ignorance or 'momentary exuberance' - ala [Nadine] Gordimer - to which we are all sometimes prone."
Shakespeare's Sonnets Get Their Own iPhone App
"The free app, which is downloadable from the Apple store, is a multimedia experience that includes short videos of actors reciting the sonnets. New videos will be released on a rolling basis, shot on different locations throughout New York."
Los Angeles Times 05/20/13
Ireland's Newest Stamp Features An Entire Short Story
May 19, 2013
"The bright yellow rectangle includes all 224 words of [teenager] Eoin Moore's short story which strives to capture the 'essence' of the capital. It was chosen from a host of works completed by participants in Dublin's Fighting Words creative writing programme."
The Journal (Ireland) 05/16/13
Intellectual Foodie Parody Performance Art, By Michael Pollan
"What he has decided to do with this broad and influential platform is to turn inward, describing his thought process as he labors over wood fires and onions or as he lobbies for the approval of his bread-baking mentor with a 'crumb shot' of his homemade sourdough."
The Smart Set 05/16/13
The Making Of An Audiobook
May 17, 2013
"If professional voice actors can flop, some amateurs can be surprisingly good."
The New York Times 05/17/13
Amazon Pushing Boundaries To Evade UK Taxes: Investigation
"MPs are ready to haul Amazon back to parliament to answer new questions about its tax status in Britain after a Guardian
investigation ... found Amazon pushing definitions close to breaking point; and tax authorities unable, or unwilling, to prevent the imposition of aggressive tax avoidance structures."
The Guardian (UK) 05/15/13
US E-Book Sales Nearly Doubled In 2012
May 16, 2013
"The total revenue generated by e-book sales in the U.S. in 2012 was $3.04 billion, a 44.2% increase over the year before. ... And the increase in e-book sales did not take a bite out of print books - at least, not in the aggregate. Print sales were $12 billion in 2012; they were $12 billion in 2011, too."
Los Angeles Times 05/15/13
Amazon Sees Its First-Ever Strike, In Germany
May 15, 2013
"Employees at two huge distribution warehouses, in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig, launched the one-day strike, the giant services sector union Ver.di said. Ver.di is demanding that Amazon's 9,000 workers in Germany be paid according to a wage deal in place for the retail and mail-order industries."
The Guardian (UK) 05/14/13
Do We Still Need Public Libraries?
"The relevance of these gloriously inflated book boxes is being questioned in an age that looks to the Internet for its intellectual resources."
The Wall Street Journal 05/15/13
Hemingway's Cuban Archives To Become Available In US
"While most Americans have never seen Ernest Hemingway's home in Cuba where he wrote some of his most famous books, a set of 2,000 recently digitized records delivered to the United States will give scholars and the public a fuller view of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist's life."
Barnes & Noble's Discounted Nook Sells Out In UK
May 14, 2013
"After dropping the price of their Nook Simple Touch (I'm pretty sure it's called the Nouk Simple Touch across the pond) from £79 to £29, Barnes & Noble has seen 'unprecedented demand' for the ereader and, as a result, they're sold out in 'almost all retail locations.'"
Melville House 05/14/13
The Librotraficantes Of Arizona
A 2010 Arizona law "that prohibited school districts from offering courses that, among other things, 'promoted resentment toward any race or class" and "advocated ethnic solidarity instead of being individuals.' ... [led to] the removal of books from school libraries, including such incendiary texts as The Tempest
." Enter the book traffickers ...
Melville House 05/13/13
When Translators Encounter The Unexpected - And Misread It
"One of the intriguing aspects when teaching translation is watching students struggle with sentences that say things they didn't expect them to say." Tim Parks offers examples - from D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf and Niccolò Machiavelli - of when translators changed the meaning of sentences without, apparently, even realizing it.
The New York Review of Books 05/09/13
The Great Gatsby - Can The Movie Work As Well As Cliff's Notes?
May 13, 2013
"For whatever reason, Gatsby
was consigned to my particular version of the list of classic books one pretends to have read while making small talk at dinner parties. My status as a Gatsby
virgin, though personally embarrassing, proved useful to my editors." J. Bryan Lowder takes a multiple-choice test and tries to write a high-school essay on the book after seeing Baz Luhrmann's film version.
Rethinking Digital Piracy
May 12, 2013
"If you're a publisher, copy protection is all that stops the pirates from freely circulating your goods. Your revenue will crash. Maybe you'll go out of business. But there's another school of thought, which says that nobody pirates software except cash-poor kids who wouldn't have bought it anyway."
The New York Times 05/12/13
Dan Brown Is Crying All The Way To The Bank
"The voice at the other end of the line gave a sigh, like a mighty oak toppling into a great river, or something else that didn't sound like a sigh if you gave it a moment's thought."
The Telegraph (UK) 05/10/13
Bored Characters Who Don't Bore Readers
May 10, 2013
"The first of my five favourite tediums is Jane Eyre (1847) pacing up and down the third storey at Thornfield Hall, longing for a bigger life and 'a power of vision which might overpass that limit.'"
The Telegraph (UK) 05/12/13
Why D.H. Lawrence, Misogynist Male Author, Has Lots Of Female Fans
"For these women, Lawrence's embrace of gender is not a bug; it's a feature. Acknowledging the way gender matters to ideas isn't (or rather, isn't only) about imposing hierarchy based on which bits you happen to have. It's also about affirming the weirdness and power and centrality of bodies - and of those people who have traditionally been most associated with bodies, which is to say, women."
The Atlantic 05/08/13
Haruki Murakami On Why He Translated The Great Gatsby
"To the best of my recollection, I was in my late thirties when I started telling people I was going to translate The Great Gatsby
when I turned sixty. ... Metaphorically speaking, I had placed Gatsby
securely on my kamidana
, the high shelf that serves as a household shrine to the Shinto gods, and then lived my life glancing up at it from time to time."
Coming Out Of The Closet As A Gatsby Hater
May 9, 2013
Kathryn Schulz: "I find Gatsby
aesthetically overrated, psychologically vacant, and morally complacent; I think we kid ourselves about the lessons it contains. None of this would matter much to me if Gatsby
were not also sacrosanct. Books being borderline irrelevant in America, one is generally free to dislike them - but not this book."
New York Magazine 05/06/13
Blame Game - Art Of The Literary Feud
"If you get a bad review and you're from Newfoundland, it's because of geography; if you get a bad review and you're a woman, it's because of gender. Here's a recent example of how this works."
The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/08/13
Remember The Whole Earth Catalog?
May 8, 2013
"Though it wasn't exactly a book, it was a how-to manual, a compendium, an enyclopedia, a literary review, an opinionated life guide, and a collection of readers' recommendations and reviews of everything from computational physics to goat husbandry. ... [It] came to be the magnum opus of the entire counterculture."
The Observer (UK) 05/05/13
How Crowdsourced Personalization Could Save Publishing
"Personalization is as much a buzzword nowadays as disruption, big data, or the cloud. It might also be part of the solution to pull the publishing industry out of the downward revenue spiral it's been stuck in for years."
More And More US Cities (Even Fresno!) Appoint Poets Laureate
"For many poets, and those in the poetry business, the popularity of poets laureate - those who labor over words to sing a community's virtues or plumb its psyche in an age defined by Twitter messages - is a pleasant surprise. Why now, though, remains something of a mystery."
The New York Times 05/08/13
Translators Of Dan Brown's Inferno Confined In Underground Bunker
May 7, 2013
simultaneously that they hired 11 translators from France, Spain, Germany, Brazil and Italy to translate it intensively between February and April 2012. The translators are said to have worked seven days a week until at least 8pm, in a windowless, high-security basement."
The Independent (UK) 05/07/13
May 6, 2013
How Sequestration Threatens The Library Of Congress
"Just as military contractors, air traffic controllers and federal workers are coping with the grim results of a partisan impasse over the federal deficit, the Library of Congress, whose services range from copyrighting written works -- whether famous novels or poems scribbled on napkins -- to the collection, preservation and digitalization of millions of books, photographs, maps and other materials, faces deep cuts that threaten its historic mission."
The New York Times 05/03/13