How nonprofits will meet in the 21st century? From the flickr photostream Nonprofits in Second Life.
* More cutbacks in the Chicago Tribune and LAT book sections are likely
* NPR, by contrast, is upping its coverage
* Chad Post lets the cat out of the bag that NYRB will be publishing the 1600-page book on Borges by Morel-author and best friend Adolfo Bioy Casares (albeit, somewhat abridged)
* This just sounds odd: "The city of Frankfurt’s prestigious art museum, the Schirn, cancelled Friday its plans for a literary art exhibition because Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk failed to write a book on time." Actually sounded like a cool exhibit . . .
* The era of the disposable book. How about, instead of rushing out to publish junk like Jonah Goldberg’s latest feast of erudition, publishers try to figure out intelligent way to promote all the good things in their backlist. After all, we’re seeing more and more publishers dedicated to bringing back OOP titles . . .
Given those pressures, I understand why a conscientious publisher would choose the first option — to add titles fast and hope to catch some cultural wave. Think of Hannah Montana, Obama-mania, entrepreneurial self-promoters with a brand to build or political provocateurs such as Jonah Goldberg, whose pointless thought exercise "Liberal Fascism" is just the latest example of what the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once termed "boob bait for the bubbas." Authors such as Goldberg serve up red meat for their constituencies while cable broadcasters fill airtime with their extreme, quasi-entertaining notions — in this case, the "parallels" between Nazi policies and those of such Democratic leaders as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Books of this ilk have always existed. But in the past, they’ve been balanced by substantive books, crafted by monomaniacal authors who devoted years to the work. I can’t prove it empirically, but when I talk to literary agents and fellow publishers, they acknowledge an unarticulated truth about our business: Fewer authors are devoting more than two years to their projects.
* Wyatt Mason renders an appropriate note of thanks for the republication of Leonard Michaels’s short stories, delivers the news that FSG will publish his essays in 2009, and then offers up a Michaels essay for us all to enjoy.
The result is a “dialogue” with Nabokov that becomes all too literal when Khrushcheva travels to Montreux, Switzerland, to converse with the novelist’s bronze statue in an unfortunate heart-to-heart blending quotations from the writer’s own work and lines composed for him by Khrushcheva. As protean as he may have been, the real Nabokov was never so humorless as this grim puppet.
* Book launch 2.0. "That thing that looks like ‘delicious,’ but with the dots in it . . . oh, it is ‘delicious.’" So true, so hilarious, so sad.
* By definition, anything that interests Lawrence Weschler interests me. This axiom works because I have not yet found anything that Weschler could not make interesting while discussing it. So, you can imagine how I reacted to this audio of Weschler and others discussing Erin Hogan’s book on the landscape of America’s West, Spiral Jetta.
* I wish more small presses would offer subscription options. Open Letter is currently offering their first six titles for $65. Archipelago also offers subscriptions with various price/book options, though, sadly, I don’t see any info about it on their website.
* It’s not enough to send books these days
* When Scott McLemee considers getting a Kindle, we all must consider if our time is come
* What helps a litmag survive?
* Apropos of my love for all things Middlemarch, I point you to this epigraph from the book discussed at Languagehat
* Pardon me if I find this Guardian blog post about how Murakami cleared the way for translations a bit naive
* Google’s translation without translators may enable science without scientists
More from Conversational Reading:
- LINKS * The Village Voice discusses art of the African diaspora: Africa, however, is a different matter. Its art continues to remain resistant to assimilation, and...
- LINKS In the Virginia Quarterly Review, Lawrence Weschler discusses the art of Robert Irwin News * Rejoice squinters! Celebrate, o thee who enjoys scrolling Melville with...
- Prize Games The Literary Saloon on why more openness would benefit literature prizes. As we’ve mentioned many, many times (most recently when the 2006 longlist was announced),...
- LINKS * The Literary Saloon gives more evidence to back up the claim that the NY Times is anti-translation. I wonder, though, how the other major...
- LINKS * The Literary Saloon further gives the lie to the recent contention that "Now it’s rare to go a single issue of the NYTBR without...
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