- A teacher’s charming poem in which he winds the imaginative grammar and spelling of his students into a feast of clever words. (via)
- A cornucopia of palindromes. “Rot can rob a born actor” and many, many more. And don’t miss the Palindrome Drama at the end of the page.
- Stephen Schenkenberg looks at how people find his blog… “how+do+you+construct+buried+alive+escape+tunnel” ???
- The 13-number ISBN is the book industry’s Y2K. For more details, see my post from 2004.
- Ed plumbs bad Amazon reviews, a never-ending ending font of humor.
Most of our internet browsing results in wasted time and too many cat videos, but Nora Crook stumbled upon Mary Shelley’s unpublished letters while researching an obscure 19th-century novelist. In the letters, which range from 1831-49, Shelley fawns over her son and even discusses a 3 a.m. trip to her hairdresser when she got a ticket to the coronation of William IV in 1831. The letters will be published soon in The Keats-Shelley Journal.
“To me a book is not just a particular file. It’s connected with personhood. Books are really, really hard to write. They represent a kind of a summit of grappling with what one really has to say. And what I’m concerned with is when Silicon Valley looks at books, they often think of them as really differently as just data points that you can mush together. They’re divorcing books from their role in personhood.” Digital pioneer and theorist Jaron Lanier fears that the Internet might be destroying not just literature, but also the middle class.
Glen Duncan, author of the genre novel The Last Werewolf, opened his New York Times review of Colson Whitehead‘s Zone One with this controversial line: “A literary novelist writing a genre novel is like an intellectual dating a porn star”. Understandably, this led to some uproar. Now he’s doubling down on his stance.
“A ‘Complete Poems’ is a death certificate and memorial combined. After the Selected and the Collected, the Complete marks the poet’s official demise and at the same time erects a carven monument designed to outlast the ages.” At The Guardian John Banville reviews The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin which will be out on these shores in March.
Books from their own imprint we hope. “In the last decade, in fact, the celebrity imprint has become something of a cottage industry, an endeavor mutually beneficial to publishing houses in pursuit of stars and their lucrative fanbases and celebrities looking for another feather in their cap.” Some of the celebrities on this list might surprise you, read on to learn about which ones have a publishing imprint.
“If Gwendolyn Brooks wrote fiction, we’d say she was brilliant at world-building–but the world she builds is the real one, the part that didn’t used to make it into the pages of literary magazines.” On the continued relevance of Brooks’s poetry in the context of racial violence in Chicago. Pair with a piece on the power of reading poetry aloud.