“Yes, it’s easy to laugh at the lawyers. But what if the lawyers were right? For the question that still needs to be answered, I think, is whether the arguments over the novel’s obscenity and obscurity were just temporary historical effects or whether they point to the essence of Joyce’s originality.” A longform look at why we should still find Ulysses scandalous.
“I had put manure bags—yes, manure, which is what we could get—at the front and back doors.” Publishers Weekly looks at how Houston-area indie bookstores are faring post-Harvey.
“America has always been able to countenance beggars, short-con men, and nine-to-fivers who just can’t get ahead, but we’ve never known what to do with the type of person who could have been really big but chose not to make the concessions required.” The Believer takes a look at the paradox of Nelson Algren.
Word is there have been sightings of the book I co-edited The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books in the wild, though it’s officially due in March. You can keep up on all the news about the book, including events and links to excerpts on the book’s new Facebook page.
This is supercool: Hyperallergic reports programmer Jamie Zawinski has created a digital rendering of the library of Babel from Jorge Luis Borges’s short story of the same name, which imagines an institution intended to house all potential books. You might also enjoy our 2013 piece about a discovered set of Borges lectures from a class the author taught in Argentina in 1966.