Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lady Lazarus - a Film Spoken by Sylvia Plath

Sandra Lahire - Lady Lazarus, a film spoken by Sylvia Plath from jshm00 on Vimeo.

Rocky - The Musical

It's heading to Broadway.

From a piece in the New York Times...

The new stage musical “Rocky,” an adaptation of the Oscar-winning film about a streetwise boxer from Philadelphia, is coming to Broadway next year, with preview performances set to begin in February at the Winter Garden Theater, the lead producers announced on Sunday.

The show – conceived by Sylvester Stallone, who wrote and starred in the original “Rocky” – had its world premier opening in Hamburg in November and received positive reviews from German theater critics for its gritty realism and inventively staged boxing sequences.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's Ledger

"This is a record of everything Fitzgerald wrote, and what he did with it, in his own hand."

From a story on Yahoo...

During a recent visit to the library's below-ground rare-book vault, Sudduth took the original 200-page book out of its clamshell protective cover. The ledger's yellowed pages — with Fitzgerald's elegant, measured cursive strokes — are a throwback to life before computer spreadsheets. The ledger shows Fitzgerald's tally of earnings from his works, the most famous of which is the novel "The Great Gatsby." The ledger lists his many short stories, books, and adaptations for stage and screen.

With the May 10 release of a new "Gatsby" movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sudduth says library officials expect an upswing in interest in its Fitzgerald collection. The ledger will be on display at the library for about a month starting May 6, Sudduth said.

The library's Fitzgerald collection is considered the world's most comprehensive, with more than 3,000 publications, manuscripts, letters, book editions, screenplays and memorabilia. It also includes Fitzgerald's walking stick, briefcase and an engraved silver flask his wife gave him in 1918.

Spirit Photography in the Age Before Photoshop


Monday, April 29, 2013

The Art of Harvey Kurtzman

Dave Eggers - Interviewed

He sat down with Huck Magazine, here.

From the piece...

Your first book was extremely close to home, but ever since your second, You Shall Know Our Velocity - about two friends travelling the world in one week to give away $80,000, a sum they feel was undeservedly inherited – you shot off, telling stories that span continents. Is something pulling you out into the world?

A lot of writers will spend their careers plumbing their lives in different ways or sublimating their experience through fiction. But if you start with a memoir, you’ve sort of blown that. From the beginning, I couldn’t find anything left to write about. And you also get a taste of that and it’s enough.

But ultimately my training was in journalism and that was my background for a long time. So I just developed an interest. I got hooked on the process of feeling like I could communicate a good story to an audience to maybe have an impact.

I’m always trying to educate the person I was too. I was just talking to a friend who grew up in the Bay Area and was saying, ‘You don’t understand the bubble we’re in sometimes.’ A lot of people like me in Illinois, or Wisconsin, we’re well-meaning people, but you would be surprised how ‘in the middle of nowhere’ we are in terms of our awareness. I didn’t have a passport until I was twenty-six.

20 Amazing Outdoor Libraries from Around the World

The list, care of Flavorwire.

Top 10 Books about Cities

The list, care of the Guardian.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Salman Rushdie on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Matching Rock Bands with the Books in the Old Testament

Noisey does it, here.

From the piece...

Exodus was my favorite book of the Bible growing up, mostly because it gave me a weird, semi-schadenfreude glee reading about the increasingly horrific things happening to the Egyptian slavers because of their incessant uncouthness in the face of God. In some ways this is the exact same reaction I have to Slayer.

Leviticus is the book of the Bible people always point to if they want to make a point of how terrible the Bible is. Not only is it homophobic and sexist, it’s also teeth-grindingly monotonous! So Nickelback is the obvious choice.

The gist of Numbers is how the incessant moaning and arbitrary disobedience of the Israelites gets them condemned by God to spend an entire generation wandering around in the wilderness. Much like Weezer, who has also spent a generation wandering around in the wilderness.

The Stolen Books of Lambeth Palace

London's Lambeth Palace, home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, also has a leading historic book collection. The palace's library was the scene of a major crime that stayed undiscovered for decades.

From a piece on BBC...

Staff had known since the mid-1970s that dozens of its valuable books had been stolen. But they had no idea of the true extent of the losses until the letter led them to the man's house in London.

"We were staggered," says Declan Kelly, director of libraries and archives for the Church of England. 
"A couple of my colleagues climbed into the attic. It was piled high to the rafters with boxes full of books. I had a list of 60 to 90 missing books, but more and more boxes kept coming down."

They contained some 1,000 volumes, made up of 1,400 publications, many from the collections of three 17th century archbishops of Canterbury - John Whitgift, Richard Bancroft and George Abbot.

The Task of the Biographer

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What Do the Different Colors of Penguin Paperbacks Mean?

The World of Miniature Books

The New York Times explores the miniature book collection of Neale Albert.

From the story...

His book collection began in the early 1990s as an offshoot of his interest in meticulously detailed dollhouses. He had commissioned a model of Cliveden House in England, where he and his wife had spent a weekend. It required a library.

“What do you need for a library?” he said. “Books.” 

So he started buying dollhouse-size books from collectors (partly with the assistance of a publication called International Doll House News). It took years to fill the dollhouse library, but by the time he’d finished, he was addicted. 

Recently, Mr. Albert was showing me around the books in his rooftop cottage, when he made me an intriguing offer. “Let’s go downstairs,” he said. “I’ll show you the smallest book in the world.”
In his apartment, Mr. Albert showed me more books, including some with his favorite bindings: an atlas of the British Empire contained a goatskin-bound globe the size of a softball, and a book purporting to contain Voltaire writings held a key embedded in its cover to open the little book of erotica hidden inside. One miniature book was so small that its creator is said to have gone blind after setting its type.

On a bookshelf in the living room, Mr. Albert lifted a secret panel to retrieve what he said was the smallest book in the world.

A Collection of Very Strange Maps


BBC Planning Dylan Thomas Drama

They're creating "A Poet in New York."

From a piece in the New York Daily News...

According to the BBC, “A Poet in New York” will begin when Thomas makes his fourth and final visit to New York. It will chronicle the poet’s tumultuous relationship with his wife, Caitlin, and his death at the young age of 39.

Thomas was well known in the United States, due to his frequent tours across the Atlantic. On his final trip to the States, Thomas was headed to Hollywood to write an opera with Igor Stravinsky, but stopped in New York, in order to earn enough to fund his trip with a part in the production of “Under Milk Wood” at Manhattan’s Poetry Center. A heavy drinker suffering from poor health, Thomas died of pneumonia in the city.

Friday, April 26, 2013

King Lear, Starring Orson Welles

The Revolutionary Effect of the Paperback Book

This simple innovation transformed the reading habits of an entire nation. 

From a story on Smithsonian...

 De Graff revolutionized that market when he got backing from Simon & Schuster to launch Pocket Books in May 1939. A petite 4 by 6 inches and priced at a mere 25 cents, the Pocket Book changed everything about who could read and where. Suddenly people read all the time, much as we now peek at e-mail and Twitter on our phones. And by working with the often gangster-riddled magazine-distribution industry, De Graff sold books where they had never been available before—grocery stores, drugstores and airport terminals. Within two years he’d sold 17 million.

“They literally couldn’t keep up with demand,” says historian Kenneth C. Davis, who documented De Graff’s triumph in his book Two-Bit Culture. “They tapped into a huge reservoir of Americans who nobody realized wanted to read.”

Other publishers rushed into the business. And, like all forms of new media, pocket-size books panicked the elites. Sure, some books were quality literature, but the biggest sellers were mysteries, westerns, thinly veiled smut—a potential “flood of trash” that threatened to “debase farther the popular taste,” as the social critic Harvey Swados worried. But the tumult also gave birth to new and distinctly American literary genres, from Mickey Spillane’s gritty detective stories to Ray Bradbury’s cerebral science fiction.

The financial success of the paperback became its cultural downfall.

Larry McMurtry - Interviewed

The Daily Beast sits down with the celebrated author.

From the piece...

It’s hard for many of us to imagine having written as iconic a novel as Lonesome Dove, winner of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize. How has the legacy of that book affected your career and what you have chosen to write since?

I don’t think about Lonesome Dove very much or very often. It only affected what I chose to write afterwards in terms of the other three books in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy. I would have written the rest of my books, whether or not I’d written Lonesome Dove. I’ve never re-read Lonesome Dove, or given it any real thought.

Many of your books, from Lonesome Dove to Horseman, Pass By, have been adapted for the screen. [Horseman, Pass By was adapted as Hud.] What are your thoughts on the screen versions of your work?

I’ve been very lucky to have mostly fine movies made from my work—most, if not all. I wasn’t crazy about Hud, because of the slaughter scene, mainly. Melvyn Douglas was very good, and so was Brandon De Wilde. Patricia Neal won an Oscar and she deserved it, she was wonderful. I felt Paul Newman was a little too mannered, a little too “actor’s studio.”

Lovin’ Molly [adapted from Leaving Cheyenne was not good. Sidney Lumet shot most of it in New Jersey, when the story actually takes place in Texas. There’s something to be said for location. The cowboys were dressed in bib overalls, which just about killed my father.

50 Best Author vs. Author Put Downs of All Time

The list, care of the Examiner.

From said list...

Every time I read 'Pride and Prejudice,' I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.

Robert Frost?

If it were thought that anything I wrote was influenced by Robert Frost, I would take that particular work of mine, shred it, and flush it down the toilet, hoping not to clog the pipes.

John Steinbeck, surely?
I can't read ten pages of Steinbeck without throwing up.

Oh, dear.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Late 19th Century Advertisements from Soviet Russia


Your Guide to Artistic and Literary Tumblrs, Part III

The Millions counts them down for you, here.

They even included my weird haiku Tumblr.

Cool beans!

The Lost Poem of James Joyce

A nine-year-old James Joyce wrote a poem. Broadsides were printed. Where are they?

From a story in the Irish Times...

But it was the nine-year-old Joyce who, in 1891, composed the eulogistic verses that his younger brother Stanislaus later referred to as “the Parnell poem”. (Joyce subsequently sanctioned the Latinate title Et Tu, Healy .) Stanislaus, to whose imperfect memory we owe the three lines with which I began, described the poem as “a diatribe against the supposed traitor, Time Healy, who had ratted at the bidding of the Catholic bishops and become a virulent enemy of Parnell, and so the piece was an echo of those political rancours that formed the theme of my father’s nightly, half-drunken rantings”.

Stanislaus reports that John Joyce, delighted by his son’s production, “had it printed, and distributed the broadsheets to admirers. I have a distinct recollection of my father’s bringing home a roll of 30 or 40 of them.” He also remembered that, in the (largely destroyed) thousand-page first draft of A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man , later published under the title Stephen Hero , “my brother referred to the remaining broadsheets, of which the young Stephen Dedalus had been so proud, lying on the floor torn and muddied by the boots of the furniture removers” when the family moved from Blackrock in 1892.

The Commitments - The Musical

It's coming soon.

From a piece in the Guardian...

The Booker-prize-winning novelist said he'd had something of an epiphany when he started going to musicals once his children grew up.

"I think the first was The Producers. It was quite a revelation because the film is terrific and I was wondering why would you want to do a musical? And actually it was great, it was very funny and sharp and you forgot about the film quite quickly."

Many people will ask a similar question about The Commitments – isn't it best to simply remember a great film? "The challenge is to make it a fresh show and not to ape the film," said Doyle, who has deliberately not watched it in a long time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" Heads to the Big Screen

The Huffington Post discusses it, here.

From the piece...

Until now, none of Rushdie's books had been made into movies and "Midnight's Children" seemed an unlikely candidate to go first. When Rushdie first met with director Deepa Mehta, they were supposed to discuss a more recent novel, "Shalimar the Clown." But Mehta, whose films include the Oscar-nominated "Water," also asked about the rights to "Midnight's Children." Rushdie, surprised by her interest, agreed.

"It was instinct," he said. "It was clear from talking to her how much the book meant to her."

He will share any blame or credit. Rushdie wrote the screenplay ("Deepa twisted my arm"), provided off-screen narration and consulted with Mehta closely on the production, which stars Satya Bhabba as Saleem. Writers traditionally stand aside once they grant film rights, but Rushdie notes a history of deep involvement, whether John Irving, who won an Oscar for his screenplay for "The Cider House Rules," or Paul Auster, who so enjoyed working with director Wayne Wang on an adaptation of his story "Smoke" that they ended up co-directing a follow-up, "Blue in the Face."

The 89-Year-Old Who Wanted to Learn How to Read

Pulp Fiction Cover Redesigns of Classic Novels


How To Tell a True War Story

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ira Glass On What Makes for a Good Story

The Most Playful Libraries in the World

The list, care of Flavorwire.

Call Me Zelda

Interest is growing in the dark and tangled life of Zelda Fitzgerald and her marriage to the Great Gatsby author.

From a piece in the Guardian...

The history of a dark and complex marriage – marred by alcoholism, jealousy and mental health problems – has been pored over by critics. Four years his junior, Zelda was a symbol of the jazz age who would spend long periods of her life in hospital for mental illness.

The bitterness at the heart of the relationship was described by Zelda's biographer, Sally Cline, a decade ago. "Zelda always seemed like the tragic heroine of her own and other people's novels," Cline told the Observer last week, attempting to explain the new literary interest in Zelda's life. "She was a woman who adored and hated her husband, who adored and oppressed and victimised her. Her melodramatic life was in real terms the stuff of fiction."

Thor: The Dark World

Monday, April 22, 2013

10 Greatest Cities in Literature and Film

The list, care of Urban Ghosts Media.

Has Climate Change Given Birth to a New Genre?

Cli-Fi. Climate change fiction.

From a piece on NPR...

The book was Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich. Its protagonist is a boy genius who spins out worst-case scenarios and sells his elaborate calculations to corporations. Given what happens next — a disastrous hurricane floods New York City — it's tempting to say that Rich himself predicted Sandy. He didn't, of course. He was as surprised as anyone else.

"I had the very strange experience of editing the final proof of my novel one night, going to sleep, and waking up and essentially seeing it adapted on cable television the next morning," Rich says. "It was eerie. But I think this is the time that we live in now. We live in this time where our worst fears are being realized regularly."

Odds is the latest in what seems to be an emerging literary genre. Over the past decade, more and more writers have begun to set their novels and short stories in worlds, not unlike our own, where the Earth's systems are noticeably off-kilter. The genre has come to be called climate fiction — "cli-fi," for short.

Haruki Murakami Novel Leads to a Surge In...

Classical music sales.

From a piece in the Asahi Shimbun...

The novel refers to the "Years of Pilgrimage" piano pieces by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, and describes in particularly vivid detail their performance by Russian pianist Lazar Berman. After the novel went on sale, fans snapped up imported CDs of Berman performing the piece, and outlets throughout Japan sold out.

Downloads of the piece on subscription sites also increased sharply. On some music distribution sites, the piece was temporarily ranked No. 1.

The domestic CD version had been out of print, but Universal Music LLC quickly decided to get in on the action and plans to put the CD back on store racks from May 15.

Using Thoreau's Walden to Track Climate Change

That's what scientists have been doing.

From a piece in the New York Times...

Primack and his colleagues have used this journal to follow Thoreau’s trails. Many of the species Thoreau saw have disappeared from the Concord area, but by studying 32 spring-flowering native plants from a variety of habitats, the modern researchers have discovered that they are now flowering much earlier. On May 11, 1853, for example, Thoreau noted the blooming of the highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), now the most widely grown blueberry for commercial use in North America and, with its distinctive white, dangling, bell-shaped blossoms, an easily identifiable plant. If Thoreau were to search for it today in mid-May, he’d be out of luck, since it now flowers during the last two weeks of April. After the very warm winter of 2011-12, he would have missed it by a good six weeks. Last spring, its appearance in Concord was recorded on the first day of April. 

Matching Thoreau’s lists with temperature records kept for over a century by the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory in Milton, Mass., Primack and his associates have determined that plants in Concord are reacting to warming temperatures by flowering roughly two days earlier for each degree increase in temperature. In Thoreau’s time, the average spring temperature was 42 degrees and the average date of first flowering of the 32 species in the study was May 15. For the years 2004-12, it has changed by 11 days (to May 4) and by 6 degrees (to 48 degrees).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

How To Make a Picture Book

Adam Rex discusses the process he used to create a picture book based on Neil Gaiman's text.

From the piece...

I draw 32 or 40 or whatever little boxes on a single page of my sketchbook and start filling them in. I only have the most rudimentary notion what each page is going to look like, but this is where I usually discover the ideas that will make this my book as opposed to a book that was merely illustrated by me.

Once I have all my pandas in a row I probably sketch character designs. This is easily my favorite part of the process, when everything's still new and the book in question is still the best thing I've ever done or will do.

9 Famous Authors Who Did Stints in Mental Institutions

The list, care of Flavorwire.

The Birth of Superman - Cleveland, OH

How the American Novel Lost Its Religion

American fiction was once inseparable from proselytizing. How did it become the anticlerical, ego-theistic literature of today? Cultural historian Philip F. Gura looks at the evolution.

From a piece in the Daily Beast...

The early 19th century was characterized by major transformations of traditional patterns of belief. In 1800 the overwhelming majority of Americans defined themselves as subjects of a distant, all-powerful God. A quarter century later, as the secular, republican beliefs of the revolutionary generation took deeper root, religious belief moved hesitantly and not without conflict toward the idea of free will. Then, in the two decades prior to the Civil War, there occurred a momentous shift from free will to self-consciousness. As Emerson put it, “the mind became aware of itself.” To him, to like-minded contemporaries, and to many if not most Americans since, the once-accepted notion that a person should spend his time on earth building his Christian character was obsolete. Instead, each American should spend his days cultivating his individualism, his selfhood.
As it developed, the American novel embodied these monumental changes in belief and consciousness. At the start of the century, novelists often took religious tracts as the models for their fiction. These were short allegories and parables aimed at the pious Christian that circulated widely due to enterprising clergymen and the advent of new publishing technologies. Sarah Savage’s Factory Girl (1814), one of the first novels set in a manufacturing village, made a statement about the rewards of patient and pious suffering that would have resonated with readers of religious tracts.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gollum Suluensis: Organisms Named After Fictional Characters

The list, care of Mental Floss.

Is There Money in E-Books?

Poets Without Clothes

A Tumblr.

7 Real Life Inspirations for Dracula

Dracula is a pastiche of living historical characters--men who were surrounded by scandals and controversies, larger-than-life personalities who seemed to step from the mists of the nineteenth century and exert their influence, just as Stoker's vampire later seemed to materialize from the shadows of a Transylvanian castle and cast his spell.

The list, care of the Huffington Post.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Last Bookshop

Happy 75th Birthday, Superman

The Saturday Evening Post sings his praises, here.

From the piece...

Forget what you’ve read in the comics. Superman was not shot into space as an infant moments before his home planet exploded.

Instead, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio—specifically, in the halls of Glenville High School. And his parents were not Mr. and Mrs. Jor-L (original spelling), but Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

The mythical Superman, as we all know, was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive (a dated figure of speech that reflects Superman’s age: 75 this month), and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (before his creators decided he could, in fact, fly.)

The real Superman was a “continuity”—a recurring comic-book character with superhuman powers to create revenue.

David Foster Wallace on Ambition

"The Great Gatsby" Book Covers Since 1925


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Your Favorite Poets' Favorite Poetry Books

The list, care of Flavorwire.

10 Most Challenged Books in 2012

The list, including Captain Underpants and Fifty Shades of Grey, care of the Christian Science Monitor.

Recreating 800-Year-Old Recipes

That what students at Durham University will attempt to do.

From a piece in the Northern Echo...

The 12th Century recipes are mainly for sauces to accompany mutton, chicken, duck, pork and beef, and also include a chicken dish named "Hen in Winter", denoting the use of older birds over the winter months. 

The sauces include some Mediterranean flavours, featuring ingredients such as parsley, sage, pepper, garlic and coriander. The text describes one recipe as deriving from central western France.

Dr Gasper added: "This shows the extent to which international travel and exchange of ideas took place within the medieval period. And what more evocative example of cultural exchange could there be than food?"

The 10 Best Words the Internet Has Given the English Language

The list, care of the Guardian.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Samuel Beckett's "Play"

11 Book Burnings in History

The list, care of Mental Floss.

From said list...

6. The Library of Congress

In 1800, President Adams decided that the new government needed a place to hold "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress." Thus the Library of Congress was born. Only 14 years later though, the Library, along with the White House and much of Washington, D.C., was burned to the ground by the invading British. Considering there were only 3000 books in the library at the time, this burning wasn’t the most terrible loss, but it led directly to a much worse one. Famously, Thomas Jefferson, who had the largest private library in America at the time at around 6500 volumes, offered to sell his collection to the government to replace what had been lost. The books were happily accepted and everything was great until 1851 when an accidental fire destroyed more than two-thirds of Jefferson’s collection and two-thirds of the Library’s total collection. So if the British had not burned down the Library in the first place, we might have far more of the president’s personal books still today.

7. Chinese Libraries

During World War II, it was policy for the Japanese military to destroy libraries. In fact, there are few wars in which you won’t find a major library destroyed; before the internet they were some of the only places to find written examples of a city or country’s culture and heritage, and therefore made very symbolic targets. But few armies destroyed as many libraries, or as many books, as the Japanese in China. They burned eight major libraries and their collections to the ground, resulting in the loss of millions of books.

It Will Be the Most Expensive Book Ever Sold

It's the Bay Psalm Book and it will be going to auction in November expected to get as much as $30 million.

From a piece on ABC News...

The Bay Psalm Book, which is the first book printed in what is now the United States, comes from the Old South Church in Boston, one of two copies of the book in its collection.

“One copy, the copy we are keeping, was bequeathed to us by our fifth minister, the Reverend Thomas Prince,” Nancy Taylor, Old South Church’s senior minister and CEO, told ABCNews.com.
Sotheby’s specialists used comparables to value the book.  “We have sold books as much as $11.5 million in the past, which are far less rare than this,” Redden said.  The last Bay Psalm Book was bought at a Sotheby’s auction in 1947 for $151,000 by Yale University.

The Kama Sutra - There's an App for That

State-of-the-art technology has transformed illustrations from the 2,000-year-old Sanskrit sex manual into pop-up holograms.

From a piece in the Guardian...

Each image can be seen from all angles, meaning users are offered a complete view of the guide's sexual diagrams.

The free app comes with a new version of the text, which is based on ancient Indian Hindu philosophies and is believed to have been written about 2,000 years ago.

The Kama Xcitra promises to help couples master positions from the book and ensure they are brought "closer to the action than ever before".

Man of Steel

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Absolute Worst Poems by Celebrities

The list, care of Flavorwire.

The Weird World of Victorian Era Post-Mortem Photography


The Creator of Downton Abbey Takes on Shakespeare

The New York Review of Books Turns 50

New York Magazine sits down with its founding editor, Robert Silvers.

From the piece...

You didn’t have any notion this would become an institution in this way?
No. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I thought it was very possible that I would come back, and it was very kind of Jack to say my job would be held open. I asked Barbara Epstein that morning if she would join me as co-editor. She said yes. We met the next night with Lizzie in the darkened Harper’s offices. We looked through the books that had come in for review, and we thought of various people who might write on them. 

The first issue appeared dated February 1, 1963. It has been called the best first issue of a magazine ever published. Looking at these names glittering on the cover, it’s astonishing how many, from W. H. Auden to Gore Vidal, Mary McCarthy to Norman Mailer to William Styron, John Berryman to Robert Lowell to Robert Penn Warren, and on and on, are still recognizable.
I remember Jason called his friend Wystan Auden. Lizzie called Fred Dupee—Lizzie and Barbara both. Lizzie called Mary McCarthy, and so did I. Barbara called Gore Vidal. I called Irving Howe, Alfred Kazin, and Norman Mailer. In the next two days I talked with Jonathan Miller, who wrote on Updike, and then with Philip Rahv, and Dwight MacDonald, who wrote on Arthur Schlesinger.

What did you say?
I said, we’re starting a new book review, and would they write on the book I was sending? They had three weeks. There was no question of payment. No one asked about it. Sometimes they said, “I’d rather do another book.” They all just assumed a new book review was needed.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Robert Frost's 10 Favorite Books

The list, care of the Christian Science Monitor.

What's Next for the New York Times Book Review?

They have a new editor so what's coming?

From a piece on the Daily Beast...

Are you worried about the future of books?
No, because fundamentally people love stories and they want information, and a book, to my mind, is still one of the best ways to tell stories and deliver information and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. I think that’s part of human nature.

As a longtime fan of the Book Review, the one criticism I would offer is there are times, reading from Berlin or California, when it has seemed to me a little too focused on the tastes of people in Manhattan. To what extent are you looking to address a New York readership and to what extent are you looking to a national readership?

We’re a national newspaper now and that’s even more so with the Book Review, because we are the last freestanding book review section in the country, so I definitely consider our audience not only to be national but global. Just as we read The Guardian here at the Review, we have a readership in other countries. There are so many books that are conceived on a global way in the same way that’s happened in the film industry. We have an international audience. There are a lot of people who are interested in books in English who live all over the world, and we want to address them as well.

Rare John Keats Portrait Goes to Auction

The portrait was taken from life.

From an article in the Guardian...

The miniature, which is ascribed by Bonhams to the "circle of [painter] Charles Hayter" is set to be auctioned by Bonhams next month, and is expected to raise between £10,000 and £15,000. Tonkin said it "has the power to move anyone who has ever admired Keats's work".

She dated the image to between 1810 and 1815, judging by the clothes – a black double-breasted coat and waistcoat, white frilled chemise, stock and tie – that Keats is wearing in the portrait. Keats would pass his exams to become a doctor in 1816; by 1819 he had published The Eve of St Agnes, with Ode to Psyche, Ode to a Nightingale and Ode on a Grecian Urn all written the same year. In 1821, aged just 25, he died in Rome, and was buried by Severn in the protestant cemetery in that city, his grave inscribed, "Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water".

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire