No Caption Needed: "Katherine Cathey had asked if she could sleep next to the body of her husband for one last time. Illuminated by the glow of her laptop, she is listening to songs that reminded her of her beloved . . . "
* A new poll tells us "only half of young people aged 18-24 years old think people will still be using bookshops in 20 years’ time." But it doesn’t say if the youngsters just won’t be buying books at all, or will be buying them online.
* BookMooch. You got books you don’t want, they got books you do.
* We have trouble believing in evolution, yet we can’t stop buying original editions of Copernicus‘s “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium”
* The Internet can’t make authors writer faster, or something like that. I’m not really sure.
* The Village Voice reviews the "Bernhardian" novel Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya, which I just finished and will agree is pretty damn good. I’ll be seeing the author in person at City Lights this evening.
As James Joyce’s H. C. Earwicker — whose dream sets off the associations, disassociations and language acrobatics of “Finnegans Wake” — stands to fiction, Adam Thirlwell stands to literary criticism.
* The KR Blog collages quotes from the daybooks of George Oppenn, "easily one of the most influential poets of the 20th century"
* A Borges documentary. For free, in English, on the Web.
* How The Wire explains the contemporary world
ST: Tell me about the process of writing the Gaddis annotations. Did you correspond with him through that and pick up clues?
I didn’t dare contact him until I was nearly done. I did a first pass
annotating those items that were relatively easy to find, then spent
hundreds of hours in libraries researching more obscure items. (This
was pre-Internet: I first read The Recognitions in 1975, and
began the annotations a year or two later.) A few dissertations and
articles on the novel had already been written by that time, which
provided some information, and I dug up the rest on my own. Identifying
Gaddis’ sources were the key: once I found the particular book he used
for saints’ lives or for alchemy, for example, I could knock out a
number of annotations like bowling pins. It helped that I had already
read some of the same books Gaddis used, like Fraser’s Golden Bough and Graves’s White Goddess,
which is part of the reason I was so attracted to the novel to begin
with, [particularly Gaddis’ fascination with] the modern relevance of
ancient myths. Toward the end, it was like completing a gigantic jigsaw
puzzle, trying to fill in the gaps that were still missing. Only then
did I write to Gaddis and tell him I’d annotated about 90 percent of
it, and wondered if he still had a list of sources that I could use to
finish up. He said he didn’t. I learned later he was very pleased with
the book, and wrote me a six-page letter filling in some of those gaps.
Looking back, it was the greatest intellectual adventure of my life.
* Chad Post raves about the JCO of Belguim
* You greedy fans! Ken Follett’s hands are for writing books, not for signing his name for your grubby pleasure!
* Apologies to The Guardian, but this is about the stupidest teaser I’ve ever read: "Whether it’s adult fiction or children’s stories, celebrity novelists are big business – even if they may not have actually written the words. So, wonders Stephanie Merritt, what drives ‘real’ authors to ghostwrite these bestsellers?"