Month: April 2005

  • Can Anyone Recommend a”Greater Great” Mavis Gallant Book?

    Help me, cyberreaders. You’re my only hope. In the early 1990’s I kept noticing a bunch of Mavis Gallant stories in the New Yorker (or maybe in short story anthologies). I kept passing them over; her style seemed too New Yorkerish (if you know what I mean). One bored afternoon I picked up a random…

  • Dead Writers Don’t Go On Booktours

    Dan Green writes: Thus the last person you should probably approach for an informed opinion of contemporary literature would be an English professor. The best you will probably get is someone like Bloom, who is willing to read current writing and take it seriously; at worst you will get outright disdain or condescension. My response…

  • Copyright and Historical Documents

    Here’s a paradox of copyright law which fortunately we no longer need to worry about: For completeness, there is one qualification that should be made. Section 303 of the 1976 Act brought under federal copyright protection previously unpublished works, including very old works (like letters of George Washington) that are in the public domain everywhere…

  • Texas Classic Literature

    Recently, I’ve been doing research on public domain fiction by Texas authors. I’m already committed to scanning two books for Project Gutenburg (a literary essay collection by Sainte-Beuve and Indulekha by O. Chandumenon). Indulekha is regarded as a one of the first Malayam novels ever to be translated into English and is considered a classic…

  • On the Virtues of Scaring Students

    Professor admits scary speech was a hoax: Although I have unlimited respect for facts, and delight in their discovery and appreciation, I have come to the obvious yet almost blasphemous view that, with respect to teaching, the facts just aren’t that important. The original speech (with video and audio!) is here

  • Bush and Language

    Plastic Bag’s Tom Coates on the future of music and content distribution . The push we hear from copyfighters is that it’s against the very nature of the environment in which we’re operating that the movement of data should be restricted. But actually creating a relationship between one thing and another thing is a core…

  • Stuart Dybek Interview: Obsessive Returns

    Here’s an interview with Stuart Dybek . I once had an opportunity to study with him at an MFA program in Western Michigan State. Q: It seems that the promising young literary talents with the most power and appeal are those with a strong sense of place, as you have with Chicago. Does your strong…

  • Found Theatre

    One of my favorite adventures in Chicago came at the neofuturist theatre, where at midnight they staged 30 2 minute plays in an hour (and offered free pizza to everybody if they finished on time!). Looking at their new season, I see this equally absurd idea for a play: The Last Two Minutes of the…

  • Videora

    Videora, a video bit torrent finder and scheduler. Wow!

  • Copynight Event on Tuesday

    For those who are wondering, the copynight event is Tuesday April 26, not April 27. (More)

  • Tim Oreilly Disagrees

    Fast links: Tim Oreilly on new publishing models No, not really. As “self-publishing” companies like those described in the NY Times article take off, they become the new publishers. They are publishers with a new business model, monetizing the long tail of print publishing by selling a few hundred copies each of tens of thousands…

  • NYT Covers Publishing…Sort of

    Sarah Glazer writes a story about trends in self-publishing. I swear, this article was written in 1998 or 1999. Despite the article’s intent to cover alternative publishing, in fact, it is covering alternative publishing from the perspective of gigantic New York publishing houses. That’s one problem with the New York Times: it can’t get away…

  • Houston Copyfight Night

    Looks like I may be hosting copyfight night in Houston this Tuesday. (More specifics here) If anyone wants to RSVP, leave a comment below or send me an email. erostratus2004-comments at yahoo. com Click to read more.

  • Flipsy, the Terrific Amazon Reviewer

    Just recently I glanced over the Amazon comments by an Amazon reviewer named flipsy, an English professor with wonderfully eclectic tastes. She alerted me to this amazing effort by New York Review of Books to reprint classics. There is amazing stuff here, almost all of it good. I stopped writing reviews for Amazon quite a…

  • Thomas Friedman’s Writing Style

    Well, it was bound to happen that someone would write a critique of Friedman’s particular kind of writing. Matt Taibi did, decrying his use of awkward and inappropriate metaphors. Before I address the issue, let me get one issue out of the way; Friedman writes newspaper columns, and often his books read like a series…

  • More Fast Links (politics)

    Michael Tomasky on what Tom Delay’s longevity in US politics means: The system isnít working by a long shot. If the system had worked, DeLay would have been exposed long ago — ?rst by the media, which would have done far more to reveal the ethical and procedural corruption of his regime, and second by…