Railing Against Establishment Writers

I’ll be out of town for a few days to attend a wedding of an Albanian student of mine. I’ll be back next week.

Romanian Poet Renata Dumitrascu on the the corruption of Ismail Kadare by the regime he served:

Kadare is irritated that people are claiming they could have been writers but were prevented by the communist system, precisely because he worked that system so brilliantly to his own personal advantage. After all, the “moral victory” of his publication abroad was infinitely more important to him than some other Albanian bastard’s “moral victory” through publication abroad. And of course, was it possible in those times to wield such power and not have victims, other people whose careers he systematically thwarted? Perhaps it is their haunting complaints he is trying to silence when he pronounces them unfit to speak of that period.

Here’s an interesting fact about Kadare (there are many). He once attended a wedding of a friend where he ended up wooing (and ultimately winning) the bride to be. Not to get your Albanian weddings confused, but the person whose wedding I’ll be attending this weekend has actually met Mr. Kadare before and kept me entertained many an Albanian evening with lots of Kadare anecdotes.

David Rothman gives some friendly suggestions to the Harry Potter author

For those who love flashy Macromedia sites full of serendipityyou never know what youll run intothis one is a winner. Her Web designers have done a masteful job of creating some virtual chaos of the kind so endearing to many young people. Put your cursor over the switch of a cleverly drawn radio, and music plays. Roll it over a pen, and youll find a series of links. An electronic dog barks amid the sounds of other creatures. Web functionalists would hate the site, but it turns out that the designers have not forgotten them. If you want just the links, maam, Mrs. Rowlings crew will oblige with a text-only version. So heres the logical question. What if the same care were applied to the creation of Potter-related electronic books? With or without multimedia, well-done Potter e-books could sell in the millions. But it wont happen until Mrs. Rowling and her agent get more comfortable with the technology. Then the possibilities are limitless. What Mrs. Rowling and her agents will need is the imagination to look beyond the primitive e-books of today. They should also endorse technical standardsfor text and graphicsthat will be more durable than the ephemeral proprietary ones of today, so that future generations can enjoy sophisticated multimedia creations or even just plain text.